Black-capped Vireo

Black-Capped Vireo

Black-capped Vireo

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The Black-capped Vireo, Vireo atricapilla, is a small bird native to the United States and Mexico. It has been listed as an endangered species in the United States since 1987. The IUCN lists the species as vulnerable.

The Black-capped Vireo is a songbird about 12 cm (4.5 inches ) in length. Sexually mature males are olive green above and white below with faint yellow flanks. The crown and upper half of the head is black with a partial white eye-ring and lores. The iris is brownish-red and the bill is black. Females are duller in color than males and have a slate gray crown and underparts washed with greenish yellow. First year males are intermediate in coloration between adult males and females.

The male and female in a pair assist in nest construction and incubation. The female broods the young, while the male supplies most of the food during the nestling phase. Typically, three or four eggs are laid. The incubation period is 14 to 17 days, and the nestling period is 10 to 12 days. Breeding pairs are capable of producing more than one clutch per breeding season. The male cares for some or all of the fledglings, while the female re-nests - sometimes with another male. These birds are insectivorous, with beetles and caterpillars making up a large part of the diet.

Black-capped Vireos nest in "shinnery," brushy areas with scattered trees. Shinneries primarily consist of shin oak or sumac. Appropriate height and density are important factors for this...
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