The Elusive Bell’s Vireo

Bell's Vireo

Bell’s Vireo

Bell’s Vireos have a reputation for sounding like they should be in plain sight but hiding behind the curtain, if you will. At least that has been my experience with those that breed in Illinois, so it was particularly rewarding to get pretty good looks, if not great pictures, of a Bell’s Vireo in Texas the last day of our trip.

Bell's Vireo 4-30-14-9724

We dispersed early in the morning to bird the grounds of Neal’s Lodges individually before leaving for the Austin airport. I thought I had a better recording of this bird’s song, for all the singing he was doing, but there seems to be interference from road noise and several other birds. Anyway, the Bell’s is the intermittent but emphatic little chattery song, if you can hear it.

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Bell's Vireo 4-30-14-9751

It’s possible one of the other birds singing a bit is a Black-Throated Sparrow. I was delighted to find him and get a few pictures as well. The last time I saw this species was almost two and a half years ago in New Mexico. Hard to believe it’s been that long.

Black-Throated Sparrow

Black-Throated Sparrow

The bird has to be facing you to see the black throat for which it’s named. Otherwise you need to be familiar with its other field marks, like the broad white supercilium.

Black-Throated Sparrow 4-30-14-9666

Black-Throated Sparrow 4-30-14-9670

There was also a cooperative Clay-Colored Sparrow, but I don’t hear his buzzy song on this recording.

Clay-Colored Sparrow 4-30-14-9484

Clay-Colored Sparrow

Clay-Colored Sparrow 4-30-14-9657 Clay-Colored Sparrow 4-30-14-9685

Indoor birds and I are listening to Gluck’s Iphigenie en Tauride on the Tuesday Night Opera with Peter Van De Graaff on WFMT. It seems a good night to stay home, close the windows to retain some heat overnight, turn on the oven and roast veggies. The drop in temperature dictates coziness.

 

8 thoughts on “The Elusive Bell’s Vireo

    • Thanks, HJ! Yes, it would be very rare if you saw any of these birds where you are. I am enjoying the cool weather although the yard looks too muddy to work in. The weeds have me beat.

    • Thanks. I wish the song was better, it’s really hard to hear with all the other stuff going on. It’s not a “tuneful” song, it sounds a bit scratchy. I’ll keep looking, maybe I can find a better recording with just the Bell’s and then I’ll replace it.

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