THICK-BILLED VIREOS: ABACO’S ONLY PERMANENT RESIDENT VIREO
Unlike the other 7 vireo species found on Abaco seasonally or as transients, the Thick-billed Vireo Vireo crassirostris is an ever-present permanent resident of the coppice and scrub; and their unmistakeable repeating song can be heard almost everywhere.
Although TBVs are very easy to hear and track to a general area of coppice, I find actually seeing the bird creating the noise quite hard – let alone getting a clear camera shot. They always seem to be lurking several feet further away, deeper in the foliage, than the sound suggests.
Paul Driver / Xeno Canto
The main signifiers for this species, which in combination distinguish the TBV from the other vireo species on Abaco, are:
- Two white wing bars
- Yellow patch – usually quite prominent – between eye and beak
- Thick bill – which immediately rules it out of being one of the 37 warbler species on Abaco…
There are marked colour variations in the species according to maturity, season and to an extent gender (though m & f are quite similar). Here’s one that is causing wing-bar confusion by only showing traces. It also has quite dark upper parts.
This is a very yellow TBVWhereas this one has rather anaemic colorationFinally, this pretty TBV is very delicately marked
Credits: Tom Reed (1), Craig Nash (2), Gerlinde Taurer (3), Bruce Hallett (4, 8), Tom Sheley (5, 9), Becky Marvil (6), Alex Hughes (7), Tony Hepburn (10); Paul Driver / Xeno Canto