Birds of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance
Red-eyed Vireo - Vireo olivaceus
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General Comments The Red-eyed Vireo is the most common breeding bird of the Eastern deciduous forest, and this commentary was just as true 50 years ago as it is today. It breeds over the entirety of the state, though it may be absent on a few coastal islands. It is practically impossible to miss in an hour of birding in any hardwood or mixed forest across the state from late April through June. It favors middle-aged to mature hardwood forests, somewhat preferring mesic and moist forests, such as bottomlands (less so in swamps), over dry forests; it also is found in the hardwood understory of pine forests. There is just one winter record for the state.
Breeding Status Breeder
NC BRC List Definitive
State Status
U.S. Status
State Rank S5B
Global Rank G5
Coastal Plain Summer resident. Very common over most of the province, though less numerous close to the coast, and not common in some forests on the Outer Banks. Mainly early or mid-Apr to mid-Oct. Peak counts: 350 migrants seen and noted in flight over Run Hill State Natural Area (Dare) on 23 Sep 2020.
Piedmont Summer resident. Very common across the region. Mainly mid-Apr to mid-Oct. The only known winter report for the state was a lingering bird photographed at Mason Farm Biological Reserve (Orange) on 3 Dec 2012 [Chat 77:60 link]. Peak counts:
Mountains Summer resident. Very common at lower to middle elevations, up to 4,000 feet; less numerous to about 5,000 feet. Mainly mid-Apr to mid-Oct. Peak counts:
Finding Tips No tips needed.
Attribution LeGrand[2023-03-26], LeGrand[2021-03-06], LeGrand[2013-08-16]
NC Map
Map depicts all counties with a report (transient or resident) for the species.
Click on county for list of all known species.
NC Breeding Season Map
Map depicts assumed breeding season abundance for the species.