Plumbeous Vireos in the Wasatch Mountains

/, Morgan County, Plumbeous Vireos, Utah, Wasatch Mountains/Plumbeous Vireos in the Wasatch Mountains

I’ve shared photographs of Warbling Vireos here before but this is the first time that I am sharing photos of Plumbeous Vireos, these images were taken earlier this month in the Wasatch Mountains. Warbling and Plumbeous Vireos are from the same family but even though they differ in appearance they are easy for a trained eye to tell them apart in the field.

Plumbeous Vireo close up, Morgan County, UtahPlumbeous Vireo close up – Nikon D500, f10, 1/320, ISO 800, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

This Plumbeous Vireo made itself known to me when I heard it singing in a clump of shrubs next to a gravel road, for quite some time it remained nearly hidden but for a few seconds it came in close and out in the open. This photo was taken on September 3rd.

The song of a Plumbeous Vireo can be heard here.

Plumbeous Vireo on a dead hawthorn branch, Morgan County, UtahPlumbeous Vireo on a dead hawthorn branch – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 640, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

So, I’m giving credit where credit is due…This image was taken on September 16th and for this individual I asked my friend, fellow photographer and birding guide Mark Stackhouse for ID assistance because I was having a hard time deciding if it was a Plumbeous or a Cassin’s Vireo because its plumage was a bit confusing to me and both Cassin’s and Plumbeous can appear at the same locations in northern Utah at this time of the year. Mark and I discussed the vireo and came to the conclusion that it is a Plumbeous. Thanks for the help Mark!

Plumbeous Vireo giving me a curious look, Morgan County, UtahPlumbeous Vireo giving me a curious look – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 640, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

A little later on the morning of September 16th I was able to photograph another Plumbeous Vireo perched in a tree that seemed to be giving me a curious look as I photographed it from my Jeep. I wish that it had moved up the dead branch a little bit to expose more of its body but I was still thrilled to get these images.

Most of the Plumbeous and Warbling Vireos appear to have migrated from the Wasatch Mountain Canyon where I photographed these birds because on my last couple of trips up there I have neither seen nor heard them but now that I know where they are I hope to photograph more of them next year when they arrive for their breeding season.

Life is good.



  1. Pepe Forte September 28, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    Great pics Mia. I just added Plumbeous and Warbling Vireos to my ever increasing avian vocabulary. Thanks for the info.

  2. Elephants Child September 28, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    I don’t have a trained eye. I do have an appreciative one – and am grateful for the beauty you share.

  3. Liz Cormack September 28, 2018 at 7:09 am

    What a beautiful little bird! And awesome photos as always.

  4. Marty K September 28, 2018 at 6:19 am

    Love that first shot with the bird framed by all the branches/twigs. And you’ve described the last shot perfectly –I can totally see the look! 🙂

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