White-eyed Vireos

Every year, someone reports a White-eyed Vireo in Sullivan County. This year was no exception, and one was reported at the Bashakill. The thing is, I have never seen a White-eyed Vireo in the county. Further with that is the fact that none of our regular birders have ever seen a WEV in the county either. A couple of years back I made a concerted effort to check all the areas any had ever been reported. No luck. When I went to the Cold Spring Access to the Neversink Unique Area on 5/26/11, it was to census the Hooded Warblers breeding there. As I spished for the warblers, I could swear that I had heard a WEV. I continued to spish and it continued its “pick up the beer check” song. After concluding I was never going to pull this bird out of the thicket, it suddenly popped up right in front of me. It was indeed a gorgeous WHITE-EYED VIREO! To add to that, there was a second bird with it which though I never got identifying looks, was almost certainly its mate. The bird shadowed the first bird just in the undergrowth and could be seen shooting past small openings in the bushes. Each time the first bird sang, the second would give two contact calls. The second bird actually departed first, heading into the deeper growth, but was immediately followed by the singing bird. Great Birding, and they really do exist!

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