[CT Birds] Details on the Red-eyed Vireo for posterity

COMINS, Patrick PCOMINS at audubon.org
Fri Nov 13 11:44:34 EST 2009

In case additional details are needed for the ARCC files on the Red-eyed Vireo considering it may be a record late date:

I was on the bird balcony at Bent of the River at approx. 11:00 AM on Friday, November 13, 2009, when I noticed a greenish bird fly by from the magnolia on the left to the one on the right.  I thought it might be a Painted Bunting, so frantically tried to relocate it and found it in the star magnolia to the right of the balcony.  The bird was about 25' away and I was able to obtain good looks through 8.5X42 bins for about 5 minutes while I helped Emily Nissley find the bird.  She also got a look just before it flew away.  Upon relocating the bird, it was obvious that it was a Red-eyed Vireo.  I had the Sibley guide on hand and wanted to rule out any other vireos.  It was too large (nearly the same size as the White-throated Sparrow next to it in the tree), and the bill was too large for it to be a Tennessee Warbler (which wouldn't have been in a similar plumage at this time of year anyway), While slightly brighter than I am used to for a Red-eyed, Philadelphia and Warbling Vireos were ruled out by the prominent black eye line and flatish crown.  There was no dark whisker apparent in good looks at the throat, ruling out Black-whiskered Vireo and the white supercilium appeared to be too broad and contrasty to be a Yellow-green Vireo.   Lack of wing-bars eliminates the possibility of any of the other vireos, except Gray Vireo, which was ruled out by the greenish tinge to the upperparts and facial pattern.  We could not make out the color of the eye.

Please let me know if any additional details are needed.


Patrick M. Comins
Director of Bird Conservation
Audubon Connecticut
pcomins at audubon.org


Audubon Center at Bent of the River
185 East Flat Hill Road
Southbury,  CT 06488
Phone:  (203)264-5098 x305
or 203-267-6732 x305
Fax: (203)264-6332

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