When I attend ABA events, I get to bird with people who far surpass my birding skills. These are opportunities for me to learn even more about one of my favorite hobbies, and I happily take advantage of them. I make plenty of mistakes with bird identification, so hearing others explain identifications is a great way to reduce the number of times where I jump to the wrong conclusion, or am just not sure.

One thing, however, that I learned early on was that I was absolutely not going to be able to identify every bird I saw or heard. In fact, resisting the urge to identify and move on, keeps me learning and keeps me out of "trouble". Picking up a camera and learning how to use it while birding reinforces that discipline. Now, when I am not sure about a bird, I try to take photographs of it so that I can attempt to identify it from the comfort of my home (where I have access to so many more resources than my little brain could ever hold). Even then, I may not be entirely sure.

Such was the case today. I was birding alone at Corpus Christi Wildlife Sanctuary (which, oddly, is not in Corpus Christi), when I encountered this vireo. I have a couple of ideas for which vireo it might be, but one of those two would be a life bird for me. I am not quite confident enough to just claim it is a species that I have never seen before (but I am really close to being that confident). Since I had my camera, here are a couple of pictures. Neither show the complete bird, but I think they show enough for an identification (says I sit on the fence avoiding a decision). If you have an opinion, share it. Maybe I will get a life bird out of this.

Update: It is a Philadelphia Vireo - a life bird for me.

Which Vireo is this?

Which Vireo is this?


HANNIBAL said...

My opinion is immature Red-eyed Vireo!

Great bird to find!

Todd Dixon said...

I was thinking it was either Red-eyed Vireo or Philadelphia Vireo, but was leaning to Philly. The wash of yellow on the throat and breast. The dark line that starts in front of the eye and extends through the eye. The lack of another dark line above the white "eyebrow". Philadelphia Vireo would be a life bird for me, so I had the folks at the Flickr group Field Guide: Birds of the World give me their opinion. The results are in, and they said Philly! Happy me :-)

T and S said...

I m not that good at bird identification either, but from your post I can surely say you are turning into a bird watcher...Bird watching is fun...I like this new hobby that you have picked up Todd.