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#ABArare – Thick-billed Vireo – Florida

On Nov 17, Roberto Torres found a Thick-billed Vireo (Code 4) while leading a walk at the Deering Estate in Miami, FL. The vireo was actually outside of the Deering Estate property. Torres reports that it was near the intersection of SW 72 Ave. and SW 164th Terrace where there is a gate that closes SW 72 Ave. to vehicular traffic. The vireo was in the brush that’s on the left when looking north from the gate. This location is NNW of the marker for Deering Estate on this map.

ABArare Thick-billed Vireo Toephoto by Roberto Torres

A search later that day failed to refind it. There have been no subsequent reports, either positive or negative.

This species is a resident in the Bahamas, Caicos Islands, Tortue Island off of Haiti, Hispaniola, the Cayman Islands, at Isla de Providencia and on St. Catalina Island in the western Caribbean, and recently (1989) on Key Paredón in Cuba (ABA Checklist, Seventh Edition, Pranty et al.).  In  Florida it is casual with about 8 records with all records representing the brownish race T. c. crassirostris.  In the Bahamas, Thick-billed Vireo is a common species, however, it is classified as “critically endangered” in Cuba. Florida records include both fall and spring individuals.  The first record for the ABA Area was of three photographed birds from Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park in from 9 September – 26 October 1989.

Thick-billed Vireo is closely related to 8 other scrub-dwelling vireos including White-eyed of which it is thought to be most closely related and at times considered as a conspecific (Handbook of the Birds of the World, Volume 15).  Even though it is a range-restricted species, Thick-billed Vireo is not globally threatened and it is found in three endemic bird areas, Bahamas, Hispaniola and Cuba EBAs.


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John Puschock

John Puschock

John Puschock reports ABA rare bird alerts and manages #ABArare for the American Birding Association. John is a frequent participant in rare bird forums around the web and has knack for gathering details necessary to relocate birds. He has been a birder since 1984 and now leads tours for Bird Treks, as well as for his own company Zugunruhe Birding Tours. He has led tours to locations across North America, from Newfoundland to New Mexico and from Costa Rica to Alaska. He specializes in leading tours to Adak in the Aleutian Islands.