Proposal (887) to South American Classification Committee



Add Vireo griseus (White-eyed Vireo) to the main SACC list


Currently, Vireo griseus is on the SACC Hypothetical List:


Vireo griseus White-eyed Vireo: Photographed in Trinidad, 9 Jan. 1998, by Nigel Lallsingh:  Sight record from Tobago (Kenefick 2010).  Proposal badly needed.



On 9 January 2018, Nigel Lallsingh photographed a Vireo griseus (White-eyed Vireo) at Spring trace Erin Road, Siparia, southwestern Trinidad:  Although mapped to a different locality, the same bird was also photographed by Kamal Mahabir:  The photographs are archived at Macaulay Library, Cornell Lab of Ornithology (catalogue numbers available in the eBird lists)


If accepted as valid, this would be the first record for the SACC area of this boreal migrant.


The identification is straightforward – the combination of white iris, yellow forehead and anterior superciliary, two distinctive white wingbars, grayish face, yellow flanks, and somewhat hefty, hooked bill that can be seen in the photo is diagnostic for the species and is found in no other similar-sized passerine that I can think of, much less in another vireo.


Here is a cropped screen shot of the photograph by Nigel Lallsingh:





The species is overdue for a documented record from the SACC area, as you can see from the Species Map in eBird:



         The Venezuelan record is a sight record 11 Feb. 2017 in Falcón:


         The Trinidad record was accepted (unanimously fide M. Kenefick) by the TTBSDC (Kenefick 2019).  I recommend accepting this species to the Main List with a “V” (vagrant) status designation.



KENEFICK, M.  2019.  Sixteenth report of the Trinidad and Tobago Birds Status and Committee: records submitted in 2018.  J. Trinidad and Tobago Field Naturalists Club: 49–54.



Van Remsen, September 2020





Comments from Zimmer: “YES, based upon the photographs provided.  The identification is straightforward, and, I might add, that the 9 January date is within a week or so of a vagrant White-eyed Vireo that I found on the Caribbean side of the Canal Zone in Panama several years ago.”


Comments from Jaramillo: “YES. Photos are diagnostic. Thick-billed Vireo approaches the appearance of White-eyed, but the white iris and the exact placement of the yellow lores, and also differing body plumage (yellow flanks on White-eyed), all clarify the identification as a White-eyed Vireo. I am surprised that there are not more records of this species actually.”


Comments from Stiles: “YES, the photo clearly separates it from V. leucophrys (or any other near relative, as far as I can determine).”


Comments from Areta: “YES, the picture clearly shows an individual of Vireo griseus. This being said, I think it is time for SACC to modify what constitutes evidence of the presence of a bird in its study area and in the country lists, by acknowledging that some on-line resources can be properly considered as being archived with enough ancillary data at an institution. For example, why are we treating this record, because it was on eBird or because it was published in Kenefick (2019)?”


Comments from Pacheco: “YES. Corroborating the decision of the 'Trinidad and Tobago Birds Status and Committee' and my colleagues in this group.”