Hutton's Vireo at Mono County Park, 7:30am 9/26

Observers: Justin Hite and Kathy Kelley
Email: justinhiteatgmaildotcom
Verification: MONO
Remote Name:
Date: 09/26/2007
Time: 03:24 PM -0400


The Hutton’s Vireo was in the cottonwoods along Cemetery Road just east of the County Park parking lot. It was greenish colored with two white (not off-white) wingbars. Large vireo-like bill. Full white eyering, but not an overly large eyering like Ruby-crowned Kinglets (RCKIs) have. There was a bit of whitish in the lore, but there were not the pronounced spectacles that you would see in a Cassin’s Vireo (CAVI). Its behavior was very Vireo like, with none of the wing flutters and hovering that you see in RCKIs. For about two minutes, there was even a RCKI very close by, allowing great comparisons for these fieldmarks. It was often stretching its neck very far forward as it looked for food among the leaves, a behavior that I have seen vireos often do. Its belly was greenish, without the brighter white of a CAVI. Its back was uniformly colored greenish, with no noticeable contrast between the back, head, or flanks. We watched the bird for about five minutes before it dove into the Buffalo Berry thickets just south of Cemetery Rd. It was visible for about a minute, and then we lost it. We searched for another 45 minutes or so but never refound it. It was loosely associated with a small flock of Mountain Chickadees, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Townsend’s Warblers, and a RCKI. Peter Metropoulos found a Hutton’s Vireo with a flock of Mountain Chickadees at the mouth of Lundy Canyon about a month ago and thought it was the first Mono County record. Could this be the same bird? Other interesting birds included a Hammond’s Flycatcher and Warbling Vireo.