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Puerto Rican Vireo


Puerto Rican Vireo

KingdomOrderFamilyGenusSpecies
AnimaliaPasseriformesVireonidaeVireoVireo latimeri

The Puerto Rican Vireo (Vireo latimeri) is a petite endemic songbird reaching just 12 cm (4.7 inches) long. Nicknamed “bien-te-veo” (see-you-well) for its distinctive call, this gray-headed bird sports a white breast and yellow-hued belly.

Puerto Rican Vireo, bien-te-veo
IUCN Status: Nearly-Threatened
  • Common Name(s): Puerto Rican Vireo, Bien-Te-Veo
  • Family: Vireonidae
  • Body Dimensions: 12 cm
  • Male Plumage Color(s): Gray Head, White Breast, Yellow Belly
  • Female Plumage Color(s): Gray Head, White Breast, Yellow Belly
  • Habitat: Forests
  • Diet: Insects, Fruits
  • Native Countries: Puerto Rico
  • Continent(s): North America
  • Taxonomy Classification Year: 1866
  • Taxonomist(s): Spencer Fullerton Baird

Puerto Rican Vireo Fun Facts

Puerto Rican Vireo F

  • Weighing 11-12 grams, the Puerto Rican Vireo favors forested areas across Puerto Rico[1], where it forages among branches for insects and spiders to fuel its energetic metabolism.
  • The Puerto Rican Vireo supplements its diet with small lizards and berries by expertly snatching up grasshoppers, caterpillars, cicadas, beetles, and other small prey.
  • Usually quiet, both sexes sing a varied, sweet warbling song. This species builds intricate hanging nests but suffers from brood parasitism by the invasive Shiny Cowbird, which hijacks vireo nests to lay its eggs.
  • Population declines in the 1980s stemming from Shiny Cowbird nest intrusions provoked conservation concerns for the Puerto Rican Vireo.
  • However, implementing control programs for the offending cowbird allowed vireo numbers to rebound in targeted forests like Guánica State Park.
  • Still considered Near Threatened by the IUCN Red List though, habitat protection remains vital for this tiny endemic bird’s survival.
  • Ensuring mature broadleaf forests with sufficient insects and fruit—the Puerto Rican Vireo’s ideal nesting and feeding grounds – is paramount.

While small, widely foraging birds may seem commonplace, focusing conservation efforts on vulnerable endemic species like the “see-you-well” Puerto Rican Vireo underscores Puerto Rico’s precious biodiversity as a Caribbean Island.

Suggested Reading: Puerto Rico Endemic Birds

Cite This Page

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BioExplorer.net. (2024, May 30). Puerto Rican Vireo. Bio Explorer. https://www.bioexplorer.net/animals/birds/puerto-rican-vireo/.
BioExplorer.net. "Puerto Rican Vireo" Bio Explorer, 30 May 2024, https://www.bioexplorer.net/animals/birds/puerto-rican-vireo/.
BioExplorer.net. "Puerto Rican Vireo" Bio Explorer, May 30 2024. https://www.bioexplorer.net/animals/birds/puerto-rican-vireo/.
Key References
  • [1]“POPULATION DECLINES OF THE PUERTO RICAN VIREO IN GUANICA FOREST”. Accessed December 26, 2023. Link.

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