Black-capped Vireo
Vireo atricapillus
The Black-capped Vireo (Vireo atricapillus) occurs across much of the Edwards Plateau of Texas. It is also known to nest in Oklahoma in small numbers as well as in northern Mexico in some locations. This species can be very difficult to see since it often stays within thick brush and other vegetation. With patience, however, an observer can sometimes get a good look at this Texas speciality. The photo at right of a male delivering a food item to a female on a nest was taken in Kinney County, Texas, in May, 1996 with a Canon T-90 & Sigma 500mm F/4.5 lens on a tripod from a blind. The film was Fuji Sensia 100 and a Fresnel flash was also used. The shot at right shows a male Black-capped Vireo incubating eggs in Edwards Co., Texas, in May, 1991. The Black-capped Vireo is currently listed as an endangered species.
The next three shots shown here were taken near Fort Lancaster, Crockett Co., Texas, in June, 2005. This singing male was on territory along the edge of a hillside just off of U.S. Hwy 290. These are digital images taken with a Canon EOS 1D Mark II and EF 600mm F/4L IS lens and 2X extender.

The next 9 images were taken on a tract of the Balcones Canyonlands N.W.R., in Williamson Co., Texas, in April, 2007, with a Canon EOS 1D Mark II and EF 600mm F/4 L IS lens and 2X extender. The first 8 shots show a color-banded male and the 9th shot shows a nearby unbanded male. This banded bird has a rather interesting history. The staff at the refuge was very interested in this banded bird since none had been banded there for several years. A few days after these images were taken, researchers were successful in netting this particular individual as well as another banded bird in the same area. Both these birds had been banded as nestlings in 2005 from a population of Black-capped Vireos on Fort Hood,Texas, about 50 miles north of Balcones Canyonlands. This is apparently the first time such dispersal has been documented. An article about this occurrence was later published.

Cimprich, David A., Charles W. Sexton, P. Kelly McDowell, Greg Lasley, and William S. Simper. 2009. Long-Distance Dispersal Records for the Black-capped Vireo. Bull. Texas Ornithological Society. 42 (1 & 2): 44-47.

*Obviously, 4 of the images shown here are of a color-banded male. I have had several requests for use of one or more of these images without the band being visible. For that reason, and to be perfectly up front about any such manipulation, I have prepared 4 shots of this bird with the bands digitally covered up by out of focus foliage or sticks. Those images may be also be seen on this page.

Same shot as the previous image but with the color band digitally covered by out of focus wood.
Same shot as the previous image but with the color band digitally covered by out of focus foliage.