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White-eyed Vireo vs. Warbler spp. vs. ??


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15 Mar 2021 Baldwin co. AL  fenced, suburban yard fully enclosed by privacy fence with abundant native evergreen shrubbery & trees.  Small bird, only got a quick peak, remained partially obscured by vegetation.

Color Pattern

2 well-defined, though thin, white wing bars

Quite a bit of yellow on head/face contrasting with pale/whitish throat

Possibly a yellow eyering &/or spectacles

Light yellow on flanks contrasting with lighter belly.  No streaks.

No discernable pattern on back, appeared uniform in color and did not flash any color when he flew

I did not see him from the underside

Behavior:   Quickly flitting up & down, back & forth from branch to branch of a crabapple whose leaf and flower buds are emerging.  He did not exhibit "fly-catching" behavior nor upside down/dangling Chickadee-like behavior.  When he saw me, he immediately darted into thick shrubbery. 

This was not an American Goldfinch nor a Yellow-rumped Warbler.  I thought White-eyed Vireo, but wasn't sure if they would come to a backyard or feed at that height (approx. 6-8 ft.).  Previously, I have seen or head them only in more thickly wooded areas.  Are there other possibilities I should consider?

 

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Your description sounds like a White-eyed Vireo to me. They are pretty early spring migrants, and I think some overwinter in the southeast. They like dense understory, thickets, forest edge habitat, bushes and brushy areas, and are often at low to mid level, not really high up like Yellow-throated Vireos. 

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7 hours ago, AlexHenry said:

Your description sounds like a White-eyed Vireo to me. They are pretty early spring migrants, and I think some overwinter in the southeast. They like dense understory, thickets, forest edge habitat, bushes and brushy areas, and are often at low to mid level, not really high up like Yellow-throated Vireos. 

I was pretty sure that was the correct ID, as I had seen them before (in better lighting & fully exposed), but I am still new enough to the game that I wanted confirmation, particularly since this Spring will be my first in-depth experience at IDing migrating species on my own.  

Edited by floraphile
additional infor
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Pay attention to leg color. All vireos have bluish or blue-gray legs, a feature shared among passerines only by orioles. Warblers generally have either dark or pink legs, with the pink-legged species typically foraging on or near the ground (like Common Yellowthroat, Mourning Warbler, Ovenbird, Swainson's Warbler). See here.

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15 minutes ago, Tony Leukering said:

Pay attention to leg color. All vireos have bluish or blue-gray legs, a feature shared among passerines only by orioles. Warblers generally have either dark or pink legs, with the pink-legged species typically foraging on or near the ground (like Common Yellowthroat, Mourning Warbler, Ovenbird, Swainson's Warbler). See here.

Thank you for that pearl of information!

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