American Birding Podcast



#ABArare – Thick-billed Vireo – Florida

After some incredibly busy times, we’ve gone through a long quiet period here at #ABArare. The last post was almost a month ago, but now we’re back with a new report.

Angel and Mariel Abreu found a Thick-billed Vireo (Code 4) at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park (open 8 am to sundown; $4 entrance fee for single-occupant vehicle, $8 for vehicles with 2-8 occupants). They discovered it on March 3, and it was seen in the same location on March 4 and 5.

ABArare Thick-billed Vireo Abreuphoto by Angel Abreu

The bird has been seen along the road to No Name Harbor. To get there, enter the park and turn right (west) on the road to the harbor and park in the lot at the end of the road. Walk back along the road to the white gate on the south (right) side of the road that says “No Trespassing – Restricted Area.” The bird has been seen on both sides of the restricted road just beyond the gate. (Map of the park here.)

Park in the lot, not along the road. And that sign that says “No Trespassing – Restricted Area?” Yes, they’re serious about that. Do NOT go beyond the gate. If caught, you may be issued a citation and escorted from the park. Also, the broadcasting of recordings is discouraged.

Thick-billed Vireos look similar to the common White-eyed Vireo. Abreu wrote the following identification tips on the ABA Rare Bird Alert group on Facebook: “Thick-billed Vireo can be separated from White-eyed Vireo by several fields marks such as a broken eye ring (above the eye), broad yellow lores, dingy yellow undersides, uniform upper parts, overall shape and feel of the bird is of a bulkier bird with a bullheaded look and a slightly thicker bill. It also has a slower, longer harsh scold which is different from White-eyed Vireos faster scold call.” Mariel Abreu recorded the call and song of the Thick-billed on these videos available here and here.