Verification of Unusual
Rec. # 2007-09
|Scientific name:||Vireo philadelphicus|
|Length of time observed:||30 minutes|
|Location:||Capitol Reef National Park (picnic area)|
|Distance to bird:||15 - 50 feet|
|Optical equipment:||10x42 Nikon Binocs and a Canon Camera w/ 400mm lens|
|Weather:||Clear Skies and warm|
|Light Conditions:||Sunny, good afternoon light|
|Description: Size of bird:||small|
|(Description:) Basic Shape:||vireo-like|
|(Description:) Overall Pattern:||gray, white, black and yellow|
|(Description:) Bill Type:||vireo-like, short and thick|
Field Marks and
What can seemingly be a rather tough ID, this fairly bright individual was quite
stunning and stood out, sometimes feeding within feet of Warbling Vireo nearby.
The birds underside was completely washed in yellow, while the back was somewhat olive. The wings appeared dark. The head had a strong pattern with a very dark brown-black crown that made the clean white supercilium stand out very well. The bird had a dark eye, with a crisp dark
eyeline, and dark lores that separated the white supercilium from the lighter cheek.
The cheek was a light gray with somewhat of a darker edge in the auriculars. This pattern set off the yellow throat which continued across the entire under side of the bird, including the undertail.
The tail was also relatively short in relation to the body.
|Song or call & method of delivery:||When I pulled up to the parking lot at the picnic area, I immediately heard what I thought was a Red-eyed Vireo singing above my car. Upon getting out and finding the bird I was stunned to see what looked like a Philadelphia. I immediately grabbed my camera and shot a couple pictures, before grabbing Sibley and reading the comment, "Song very similar to Red-eyed but higher-pitched on average..."|
|Behavior:||Feeding in cottonwoods, and occasionally singing.|
|Habitat:||Cottonwoods on the edge of a riparian area, in the middle of a canyon in the desert.|
were they eliminated:
Warbling Vireo presents the biggest challenge. However, Warbling Vireo lacks the
strong face pattern this bird had. Warbling typically has white lores connecting
the light supercilium to the throat which is white along with the breast and the
rest of the underside of the bird. The bill of the said bird also seemed thicker
in comparison to the nearby Warbling Vireos which were nearby and allowed for a
The fact that the bird was singing also helps in eliminating Warbling Vireo, as the songs of the two are definitely different.
Other vireos could be similar, but Bell's lacks teh supercilium, and the rest are quite different.
this & similar species:
Have seen 100's of Warbling Vireos over the years. Saw my first Philly Vireo
last spring in Indiana and over the course of spring and fall migration saw
around 50 in all, of a complete
range of colors and strength of pattern.
|References consulted:||Sibley Guide to birds.|
|Description from:||Notes taken at time of sighting|
|Observer's address:||Salt Lake City, Utah|
|Observer's e-mail address:||firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Other observers who independently identified this bird:||none|