Thursday, May 28, 2009

Mystery Vireo: Your Best Guess

At Magee Marsh two weekends ago, in addition to the myriad warblers present, there were several vireo species there, too. I photographed this vireo from the boardwalk assuming it was the warbling vireo that had been singing from the same vicinity.

We'd also seen a Philadelphia vireo or two during the morning.

When I got home and started going through my photos to select any that were 'keepable' and to ditch those that weren't I came across this bird again. I thought to make it a Mystery Bird ID Quiz, and sent the image to two birders whose ID skills I respect. One said Philly, one said warbling. It's a bit tough with the mostly head-on views.

I still feel it's a warbling vireo, but maybe one that recently ate a Philly Cheesesteak at Pat's, thus making its lores dirtier than normal and it's overall look pale and washed out (no doubt from the Cheez Whiz). To me the bill does not look stubby enough for a Philly.

What do YOU say?

Maybe one or more of the bird ID aces that occasionally lurk here at BOTB will be kind enough to chime in. [You know who you are.] If you DO answer, please give your reasons.

Game on!

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At 6:30 AM, Blogger Erik said...

I looked at the pics before I read the text. I'm certainly no ace, but my thought was Warbling. Maybe it's the lighting but it seems to lack the distinctive markings that I associate with a Philadelphia. Maybe it's a jizz thing. It just feels like a Warbling. Or maybe I just blow the call on all lightly marked Philadelphia's.

At 1:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My vote is Warbling. More washed out look as opposed to contrast of the Philly. only my best estimate, as both bird extremes can overlap. Warbling!
Gary Wayne

At 2:04 PM, Blogger Jerry Jourdan said...

Terrific post! I'm leaning toward Philadelphia Vireo based on gray cap and hint of dark line through the eyes. That said, I could be wrong. I was at Magee about the same time and photographed this Philadelphia Vireo/Tennessee Warbler (which I ultimately labeled Tennessee Warbler (female)based on white undertail feathers:
But I could be wrong, wrong, wrong!


At 7:57 PM, Blogger KatDoc said...

non-expert weighs in with one vote for Warbling Vireo. Why? I dunno, just 'cuz I don't get a Philly feeling about it. But, what do I know - I've only ever seen one Philadelphia Vireo in my life.


At 8:44 PM, Blogger Dave Lewis said...

If I could see the other end...hmmm. I'd say Warbling also. I got my first photo of a Philadelphia Vireo at the boardwalk last week (thanks to Jen Brumfield)! Life pic dance!

At 8:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If it likes fried onions, it could definitely be a Philadelphia Vireo.

Wayne, PA

At 4:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the lores don't seem dark enough for a Philly, so I think it is a Warbling.
Phil Kenny
Vienna, VA


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