Re: Warbling Vireo or?? Ocean Beach Park

Dave Compton

Hi folks - More info on this. Some other knowledgeable folk have weighed in on this bird. Paul Lehman leans Warbling Vireo, and I understand Louis Bevier is pretty strongly in the Warbling Vireo camp. Steve's caution about letting some birds go is certainly warranted in this case.

Dave Compton
Santa Barbara

On Mon, Sep 17, 2018 at 8:08 AM, Nick Lethaby <nlethaby@...> wrote:

I didn't see all the photos the first time I looked at the bird, just three of them, including the 2 and 3, which are most like like Warbling. Having looked at all five, I agree that the case for a Philadelphia Vireo is stronger than I first opined and there is a good chance this is one. My experience with fall Philadelphia Vireos is fairly limited, but the couple I have seen in CA plus Tom Turner's recent bird were more strongly yellow in the throat/breast area that this bird. I think Jim makes several good points, but I think photos can exaggerate subtle contrasts. For example, one photo shows almost unmarked lores, while others (more accurately IMO) show well-marked lores. I don't think it's that unusual for Warbling Vireos to show a green back/gray crown contrast. I had at least one such bird early yesterday.


On Sun, Sep 16, 2018 at 11:47 PM Steven Gaulin <gaulin@...> wrote:
I think, in addition to the soggy status of the bird, that foreshortening is a significant issue in the available photo. I have experience with PHVI from 30 years of residence in PA, and I would not confidently classify this bird as such. I do understand the importance of doing our best to identify potentially rare visitors, but we also should appreciate the vagaries of viewing conditions, etc. Sadly, not all birds are identifiable. 

Steve Gaulin
Santa Barbara

On Sun, Sep 16, 2018 at 10:55 PM, Dave Compton <davcompton60@...> wrote:
I'm a little uneasy about the disheveled appearance that Jim notes, at least in terms of judging the color of the under parts. Also, I'm not sure about the head shape as shown in these photos. But I think Peter points out, and Jim reiterates, several good reasons to consider this a Philly Vireo. Also, I do think "vireo w dark lores 2" is fairly convincing in showing yellow across the base of the throat, including the center (I'm less sure about the center of the breast and am slightly concerned that other parts might be as yellow or yellower than the throat and breast). To other points mentioned supporting Philly (contrasting dark cap and primary coverts), I would add that photos 3 and 5 appear to show a tail that is too short for Warbling. 

Dave Compton
Santa Barbara

On Sun, Sep 16, 2018 at 6:42 PM, James Pike <jimpike444@...> wrote:
Hi Peter,

Despite the wet, disheveled appearance of this bird, we can still see that yellowy coloration extends all the way across the chest and base of the throat. In combination with a relatively dark blue-gray crown that contrasts with a green mantle, the round rather than broad, flat shape of the crown,  the decidedly short bill, and the crisp dark lores and anterior supercilium, this adds up to an identification of Philadelphia Vireo in my opinion. 

Jim Pike
Huntington Beach  

On Sun, Sep 16, 2018 at 4:53 PM Peter Schneekloth via Groups.Io <> wrote:
I would love comments on this Vireo seen this morning at Ocean Beach Park. It likely remains in Warbling bucket but dark lores, dark cap, dark primary coverts (this is mentioned in Nat Geo 6th edition) force a look. Yellow on throat and underside very hard to judge because feathers are wet and matted. I spent quite a bit of time trying to re-find the bird but to no avail. There was a constant turnover of small passerines which included Townsends, Yellow, Yellow-rumped Warblers. 

Peter Schneekloth

Steven Gaulin
Department of Anthropology
U. C. Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA, 93106-3210

The fact that scientists "keep changing their minds" is not a bug; it's a feature. Science depends on the constant evaluation of new data. That's the difference between science and dogma.

Nick Lethaby
Goleta, CA

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