Philadelphia Vireo singing at McGee Creek

Observers: Chris McCreedy
Remote Name:
Date: 06/30/2005
Time: 07:22 PM -0400


In the meadow across from the Inyo NF McGee Creek campground. 37 degrees, 33'53.0" N and 118 degrees, 47'00.1" W for those with a GPS. There are downed trees across the creek to tightrope to the other side. I knew right away I had a funky vireo in the meadow, its song is very different from the several singing Warbling Vireos that surround the meadow. He also stood out because he sings from water birches and willows in the middle of the meadow, not near/in the aspens on th meadow's edges. Distinct, repeated clipped song. More or less ascending 3 notes, then descending three notes, the notes quick. To me, it sounded as if he was saying "Quick have a drink" on the ascencion, and "drink it up" on the descension. I have worked with WAVI for several seasons, and I have heard the garbled squeaks of what were probably second-year males, but this song was deliberate, and over-and-over, for the 20 minutes I watched at 8 meters. The song was different enough from a WAVI that I was sort of disappointed to finally see the bird, which looked almost exactly like a Warbling Vireo. It's crown might have been just a shade darker then a Warbling Vireo. I clearly saw the yellow wash on his throat, that seemed to end around his belly into general vireo-whiteness: it was not as shocking-yellow as Sibley paints it. I'd love it if someone checked on it. Another interesting thing was that while the surrounding Warbling Vireos are clearly moving in circles around their territories and can be seen with their mates, this guy was alone the entire time, singling from two shrubs in the meadow the entire time - no sign of a mate.