Birds of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance
Black-whiskered Vireo - Vireo altiloquus
VIREONIDAE Members:
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General Comments For a species that nests in the West Indies and north to the western and southern coasts of Florida, one might expect at best only one or two state records for this cousin of the Red-eyed Vireo. However, the Black-whiskered Vireo "overshoots" its breeding range enough in spring that sharp-eyed or sharp-eared birders can recognize it from the very common Red-eyed. Amazingly, there are about eight state records, all from the Coastal Plain in spring or early summer. This is in stark contract to South Carolina, which, despite lying closer to Florida, has yet to record this species (as of 2012).
Breeding Status Nonbreeder
NC BRC List Definitive
State Status
U.S. Status
State Rank SZ
Global Rank G5
Coastal Plain Casual along and near the southern coast, in spring. One was seen at Wrightsville Beach (New Hanover) on 1 Apr 1960 [Chat 25:17-18 link]; one was near Masonboro Sound (New Hanover) on 8 May 1983 [Chat 47:110 link]; a bird acting territorial at Cape Lookout (Carteret) was present from 23 May - 2 Jul 1994 [Chat 59:87 link]; one was seen in Beaufort (Carteret) on 6 May 1994 [Chat 60:140 link]; another was at Cape Lookout on 20 May 2000 [Chat 64:156 link]; one was found at Bald Head Island (Brunswick) from 6-22 Jun 2001 [Chat 66:33 link]; and one was in Manteo (Dare) on 29 Jun 2006 [Chat 71:3 link]. One found along Billfinger Road in Croatan National Forest (Craven) on 13 Jun 2009 is the only somewhat inland record [Chat 73:162 link].
Piedmont No records.
Mountains No records.
Finding Tips If one is birding along the southern coastline in May or early June, especially on islands, it doesn't hurt to learn or be familiar with the song of the Black-whiskered Vireo. Many of the state records were of birds that were first heard singing, and the observers either recognized the species from the song, or realized that these were not likely Red-eyed Vireos and needed visual confirmation.
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Attribution LeGrand[2018-02-01], LeGrand[2012-09-07], LeGrand[2011-12-10]
NC Map
Map depicts all counties with a report (transient or resident) for the species.
Click on county for list of all known species.
NA Maps
(source NatureServe)

View NatureServe distribution maps for Vireo altiloquus