This small vireo is often heard singing from deep within heavy brush. A short primary projection makes this bird appear long-tailed compared to other vireos. Western populations have slightly longer tails than eastern. The face shows indistinct spectacles, with a broken eye ring. There are two pale wing bars, but the upper one is very faint. Western birds have gray upperparts. Underparts are white with a faint yellowish wash on the sides and flanks. The California population (Least Bell's Vireo) has very little or no yellow. Eastern birds are olive-gray above, grayer on the head. The underparts are white with a strong yellow wash on the sides and flanks.
Length: 12 (cm) Wingspan: 18 (cm)
Song consists of paired phrases, the first ending on a higher pitch, the second ending on a lower pitch: tweedle tweedle tweedle dee? tweedle tweedle tweedle dum. Call is a soft nasal chee.
Brushy fields, riparian corridors, chaparral, mesquite, early successional forest with dense understory.
Eastern birds bob their tails. Western birds flick tails upwards and to the side and the tail is usually held angled upward in a wren-like fashion.
Gleans insects and spiders from foliage, usually close to the ground.
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