|Conservation status||Declined seriously on west coast of Florida in the 1980s, after severe winters killed many mangroves there, and after Brown-headed Cowbirds became more common in that area.|
|Habitat||Mangroves; low woods. In Florida, breeds mainly in coastal mangrove swamps, but also in subtropical hardwoods on dry land, sometimes several miles inland. Migrants wandering beyond southern Florida may be in any kind of forest, but usually close to the coast. In winter in South America, found in open woods and forest edge.|
Forages by searching rather deliberately among foliage for insects, usually in the upper levels of mangroves or other trees.
Usually 3, sometimes 2. White, with spots of brown, purple, or black. Incubation is by female only; length of incubation period not well known. Young: Female feeds the young and probably male does also, but details (including age at which the young leave the nest) are not well known.
Female feeds the young and probably male does also, but details (including age at which the young leave the nest) are not well known.
Mostly insects and other arthropods, some berries. At times, up to 40% of diet can be spiders. Also feeds on many insects, including caterpillars, earwigs, beetles, wasps, bees, true bugs, flies, mosquitoes, and others. Also eats some berries and possibly seeds during the breeding season. In winter, in the tropics, up to 50% of diet can be berries and small fruit.
Males arrive in Florida in April, and defend breeding territories by singing continuously throughout the day. Nest: Placed 3-20' above the ground or water, in a mangrove or a deciduous tree. Nest (built by female) is a compact, basket-like cup, suspended by the rim, woven onto a horizontal forked twig. Made of seaweed, grass, weeds, palmetto fibers, spiderwebs, cocoons, lichen; lined with grass, pine needles, and hair.
Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds
Download Our Bird Guide App
Strictly a summer resident in Florida and nearby islands (may be a permanent resident farther east in the Caribbean). Stray birds appear regularly farther northwest along Gulf Coast in spring.
- All Seasons - Common
- All Seasons - Uncommon
- Breeding - Common
- Breeding - Uncommon
- Winter - Common
- Winter - Uncommon
- Migration - Common
- Migration - Uncommon
See a fully interactive migration map for this species on the Bird Migration Explorer.Learn more
Songs and CallsSimilar to that of Red-eyed Vireo but distinctly more abrupt, and in 1- to 4-note phrases, sometimes described as Whip-Tom-Kelly.
Learn more about this sound collection.