English and Scientific names:

Black-whiskered Vireo


Number of individuals: 

1 Adult





Specific Locality:

TNC tract, known as Lefitte Woods, due east of Dady's money, Grand Isle, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana



Date(s) when observed:



Time(s) of day when observed:  




Reporting observer and address:

Andrew Wheelan

Narragansett, RI



Other observers accompanying reporter who also identified the bird(s):

Nicole Edmisson



Other observers who independently identified the bird(s)

A Black-whiskered Vireo had been seen throughout early to mid May in the same location.  I believe that our observation was the last.


Light conditions (position of bird in relation to shade and to direction and amount of light):

Light was from the side (right), but the bird was mostly in shaded areas of the sub-canopy of oaks in the first line of trees along the path.



Optical equipment: 

Leica 10X42, nearly new.



Distance to bird(s): 

First observation was about 15 feet, as it came into squeaking on the back of my hand.  I then ran to get Nicole and the bird had moved East and was relocated at a distance of about 20 meters.



Duration of observation:

The initial observation was about a minute long, and then we watched the bird for around five minutes.  The bird was still visible when we left.




Patchy Oak chenier on barrier island.



Behavior of bird: 

The bird initially came in to my squeaking on the back of my hand.  It made no vocalizations and was inquisitive for only a second, and began moving from branch to branch in the same tree like it was foraging.  I did not witness any successful prey captures or food consumed.  The bird was then relocated and continued to move through the trees in a calculated vireo fashion of looking around and flying from branch to branch.  It was only observed in the sub-canopy of Oak Trees. The bird was seen alone.  Not with other birds



Upon appearance the malar stripe was apparent.  It was not very dark, but a light charcoal to brown contrasting with the lighter face.  The crown was grayish contrasting with a more brownish olive back.  The bill was thick and vireonid in shape, and dark grayish to black. The bird appeared very much like a Red-eyed Vireo in size and habit, but the malar stripe was very apparent, even from 20 meters. 



The bird did not vocalize.


Similar species:

The size and bill set it apart from any warblers, and coloration, bill, shape and habit identified it as a vireo.  The most similar species in North America is the Red-eyed Vireo which was eliminated by the distinct malar stripe, (whisker) in the face.  The bird was observed for some time, in many different lights and poses, eliminating the possibility that it was a shadow on the face and not the coloration of the plumage which created the stripe.



Photographs or tape recordings obtained?

no photographs were taken.


Previous experience with this species: 

This was the first time that I have seen this species, but I have seen all other nesting Vireos in North America and have a lot of experience with Red-eyed Vireos .

Identification aids:

Guides used as reference include Sibley Guide, National Geographic guide and online information.


A Black-whiskered Vireo had been seen throughout early to mid May in the same location.  I believe that our observation was the last

This description is written from: 

Notes in field notebook made on the morning of observation and memory.

Are you positive of your identification? If not, explain: 


Yes, I am positive of this identification.

Date and time: 

0830 5/29/10 or 1748 10/21/10