Bird Brief

Serving the Tri-State with all your birding news.

With all the recent activity in the area focusing on the skulking, elusive, and vocally identifiable Bell’s Vireo (Vireo bellii), this author thought a little brief  update is in order. For the past several weeks now this hard to see bird has been either seen or heard at Ellis Lake/ West Chester Wetlands, Gilmore Ponds, Smith Tract County Park, and near Rapid Run Park.

With it’s very distinctive song, you will find this bird in low and mid level thickets frequently bobbing it’s tail. They have obvious white spectacles that are broken in the front and back, and 2 white wing bars, with the lower one being more prominent. There are 4 sub-species that become progressively greener above and yellower below as you travel from West to East.

Become familiar with it’s unusual call as you travel about birding. It’s rather unmistakeable and was the first thing I heard as I was hunting down this bird both this year and last at the same location. And remember it’s not a very large bird at only 4 3/4″.  Each year more and more of these birds are showing up in our area. Is this a sign of them losing their habitat out West, or another victim of Brown-headed Cowbirds? I guess that’s what the pros at Cornell have to think about. For us it’s still good birding for Ohio.


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