A Philadelphia Vireo

We must have been right in the migratory path for these birds, because I can’t remember ever seeing them before, but this spring I got to photograph two individuals. This short post is a tribute to a special encounter I had with this one Philadelphia Vireo at the Portage on May 27.

There’s nothing flashy about this bird, and observing a gray bird so closely on a rather gray-sky day was totally unexpected. I just stood and photographed this beautiful creature while it gleaned what I can only imagine were infinitesimal insects caught in what might appeared to be some web filament.

So if you ever get this good a look at a vireo, you can always confirm the genus because they all have blue feet!

I will be back with a more traditional post soon. I just wanted to devote an entire page to these pictures because the encounter was so special. A bird I was barely familiar with gave me an entire tutorial about its habits and appearance in the space of maybe five minutes. I am forever grateful.

8 thoughts on “A Philadelphia Vireo

  1. I can imagine what a surprise that was, when you saw these birds in the place that you frequently visit for years! You had pretty good shots too! Congrats! 🙂

    • Thanks, H.J.! I never expect any bird to virtually ignore my presence. The textbook explanation of course is that it was tired and hungry but I really felt as if we shared that time and space.

    • Thanks, Donna! I have to wonder if we really connected as much as it felt like we did. It’s a given that most vireos are skulkers. And then I run into this one who’s obsessed with a branch. 🙂

    • Thank you! I feel like vireos don’t get enough adulation (probably because they like being secretive) but they are all beautiful in their individual species and this one individual got me hooked on Philadelphia’s. I like that “fairy green belly” description!

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