jack williamson | Sandy River Delta 9 May 2015

Sandy River Delta 9 May 2015

May 10, 2015  •  2 Comments

I looked for the Red-eyed Vireo on the Sandy River Delta yesterday morning and initially thought I found it. To my surprise and delight, the park was nearly empty when I arrived at 0630. The walk out to the vireo location was enjoyable with cool temps, no wind, and lots of birds. A Yellow-breasted Chat gave me a nice demonstration of its conspicuous display flight before perching up and posing for me just a few yards away. As I turned my attention away from the chat and resumed walking toward the old channel trail I noticed what I thought might be a vireo in the cottonwoods on the north side of the trail. While it wasn't very cooperative, it did give me enough of a view to have near realtime comparison to the vireo I located a while later along the old channel trail west of the transmission-line tower. I walked four miles over 3:45 minutes and observed an abundance of birds, most of which were on territory. I definitely recommend birding this park early in the day before families show up with their rambunctious pets.

Interactive Map of the 1000 acre dog park (click the icon in the upper left to see the map marker legend):

Yellow-breasted Chat:

Warbling Vireo:

Brown-headed Cowbird keeping close watch on several other species on territory:

Lazuli Bunting: Rufous Hummingbird: The size of the nest below has me wondering - I estimate that it is roughly twice the size of a typical robin's nest in both depth and diameter.  

Common Yellowthroat:

Black-headed Grosbeak:

Spotted Towhee:

Downy Woodpecker: (Some are saying it looks more like a Hairy than a Downy) Possible Red-eyed Vireo:  (I Would love to hear what others think)

The bird appears to have a prominent whitish supercilium with a blackish border to its crown, but I am wondering about he blackish eye-line that is supposed to extend from the lores, the relatively short bill, and its coloring. It's definitely more olive on top than the first vireo - but is it olive enough.  


jack williamson
I think I got too caught up in comparing this bird to the first vireo. Something about my tentative ID was just not sitting right with me. Thanks for the help and by the way, as a dog lover, I use the term rambunctious affectionately.
Bob Archer(non-registered)
I just missed you, I went out there at 7:30 (with my rambunctious dog), hit the west side a bit beofre going down the Red-eyed Vireo path. The black border on a Red-eyed is very thin and sharp and the line through the lores is black and goes right out to bill. Warbling Vireo can have a dark area in front of the eye but it does not reach the bill (usually). The dark area is (usually) narrower at eye. So this is a Warbling VIreo. The interesting study is why is it not a Philadelphia Vireo. Warbling Vireo has the brightest yellow on flanks and undertail, the lores are usually pale and the supercilium goes well past the eye and fades into the nape. A Philly Vireo has dark lores, the dark patch is (usually) wider at eye, just the opposite of Warbling, and the supercilium goes to eye then merges with side of head. The yellow on a Philly is bightest in lower throat and center of breast.
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