Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Bell's Vireo @ Kissena Park Queens NY...

Late yesterday afternoon around 6:30 p.m. I was working a patch along the path of the triangle of Kissena Corridor. This would be the path north of the artificial football field and is covered with wood chips. While working the area, I found a bird that took some time for me to get a decent enough look and when I did, I realized I was looking at a Vireo sp. that I was not familiar with. It was small like a PHILADELPHIA VIREO but had wing bars and I immediately thought of HUTTON'S VIREO but ruled it out after I got better looks.

After a few minutes I began to get a clear picture as this active bird gave very shy looks and did not really come right out into the open. By then I ruled out Warbler sp. and focused in on Vireo sp. It looked small enough for a Philadelphia Vireo but with wing bars??? After several minutes of patiently working the area, I finally got a decent enough photo of the bird. To me it looked like a good candidate for a BELL's VIREO (perhaps the Eastern race). The bird was last seen working its way back into the tickets and I did not pursue it, but instead chose to jot down as many notes as I could.

After getting back to my car and consulting field guides, I called a few people and provided a description of the bird and sent out a photo from the screen view of my camera. I received word from one non NY birder who, is well known for his field work, published articles and talent. I have tremendous respect for him and he was very helpful with the ELEGANT TERN ID confirmation.  His response was, "it is a Bell's Vireo"; although, he did admit to not having enough experience to determine the subspecies. I did not get permission to use his name, so I won't until I get the green light.

Here are my field notes on my impression of the bird: 

Around 6:30 p.m. observed small like bird that turned out to be a Vireo sp. Better looks showed this bird to be small almost like a Philadelphia Vireo but with wing bars. It can't be a Philly Vireo?? But what could it be?
Structure: Small like Vireo, with longish tail or maybe not..., small head and small bill
Color: Yellow wash down the sides that got brighter towards the flanks and the undertail coverts. Back: Greenish/Olive looking with some white detected on the edges of the "tertials"
Bill: Pale looking 
Spectacles: None but pale looking eye ring.
Wing Bars: Yes, Upper bar faint looking while lower bar prominent and looked wider.
Legs: a gun metal type hue. Not black!
Behavior: Very active and hard to see as it moved around in the thicket and Crab Apple trees (I think that is what the fruit was). Flicked tail as it moved around and even fanned its tail once quite like an American Redstart; this behavior was displayed when a Common Yellowthroat got near it.
Sketch: None, but photo obtained.

Here are the few images I managed.

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1 comment:

Appalachian Lady said...

Great capture of a beautiful little Vireo. I have never seen one.