[eBird Alert] Needs Alert for Santa Barbara County <hourly>

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*** Species Summary:

- Philadelphia Vireo (1 report)

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NOTE: all sightings are UNCONFIRMED unless indicated

Philadelphia Vireo (Vireo philadelphicus) (1)
- Reported Sep 05, 2018 12:15 by Curtis Marantz
- Refugio Rd--first creek crossing, Santa Barbara, California
- Map: http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&t=p&z=13&q=34.4693091,-120.0686574&ll=34.4693091,-120.0686574
- Checklist: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S48335220
- Comments: "It took some effort to relocate this bird, which was found earlier in the day by Tom Turner and relocated a short time later by Joan Lentz and Libby Patten in the same general area. After about 2½ hours of searching I spotted this bird in the creek just below the dip over which the creek crosses the road during period of high water. I first noticed this bird when it dropped into the water and returned to branches over the creek, where it shook itself and preened briefly before dropping again to the water and repeating the process. Unfortunately, the vireo was perched on an open branch behind another vegetated one, so I had to contort myself to get a clear view and several photos, and after only a minute or so in view this bird flew a short distance into low, dense vegetation to the north, where I lost it. I never heard this bird call, and even though I was able to get some pretty good photos, my views of this bird were brief and rather superficial, so I am unable to remember many of the details that are shown clearly in my photos.
This was a small bird, yet it seemed a little larger and plumper-bodied than the few warblers that we had seen. I noted a short bill that may have been stouter than that of a warbler, but I failed to notice the precise length or the shape at the tip. When seen from above as it perched near the water’s surface, this bird seemed to have a somewhat rounded crown on a heard that was unremarkable in size, a short neck, and a plump body. I did not notice in the field the wing length or the primary projection. I thought the tail was of medium-length, but the shape at the tip also evaded me, as did any detail on the legs or feet.
My views of the plumage pattern and coloration were about as superficial as those of the structure, yet I was confident that this bird was indeed a Philadelphia Vireo and one that was not in any way equivocal. When I first saw this bird it was facing away, but once it turned its head I was able to see quite clearly that it had a bold, whitish supercilium that contrasted at least relatively sharply with a gray cap that may have had a subtly darker border to accentuate the supercilium. I did not specifically notice a dark eyeline, but I suspect one was present given the boldness of the facial pattern. Also evident was a strong contrast between the gray to bluish-gray of the cap and the relatively bright, olive-green of the back and presumably also the scapulars. I did not notice much contrast between the wings and the back and I am confident that there were no bold wingbars, but I cannot remember the precise color of the wings or if there was a subtle pattern to them. Similarly, my only recollection of the tail was that it was dark enough to lack obvious contrast with the wings. Although I managed to get at least one good photo showing the underparts, my main recollection is that the throat and at least the upper part of breast were a bright, lemon-yellow color that was quite different than that shown by any of the species expected at this site, except maybe a Lesser Goldfinch. I do have some recollection that the chin and maybe uppermost part of the throat, along with the lower part of the face below the eye, were paler and maybe whitish, and I think the belly and flanks may have been paler or at least duller than the yellow that was concentrated on the throat. I have no recollection of seeing the undertail coverts or the underside of the tail on a bird that I saw from above.
My vague recollection is that the bill was dark gray and that the eyes were dark, but I cannot remember any more detail than this about the soft-part colors."


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