Monday, July 14, 2014

Blue-headed Vireo

A young friend relayed to me the location of a nest of Blue-headed Vireos a few weeks ago.  I waited until I expected there to be good sized chicks.  The nest is ideally located above a hiking trail and only maybe ten feet high.  (Thanks, Alex!)

Made the three-quarter mile hike into the nest on this humid morning. It was worth the effort down the hill, and I guess the uphill was tolerable.  The pair were pretty actively feeding their two young nestlings.

Did I say two?  Sure did.  Don't recall which swallowed that large grub.

Sometimes, an adult would sing from a nearby tree before flying in. That excited the chicks greatly.  What a big mouth for so small a chick.

I was there for about two hours but the time passed quickly. I saw action that I wish I could have captured.  A Pileated Woodpecker foraged on a downed tree and a Brown Creeper busied itself on another tree.  Perhaps the best was when a young robin ventured too close to the nest. The little vireo attacked with amazing furor and the robin fled with cries of terror.  All were out of reach of my camera or happening while I was shooting video. It is amazing how much you see if you stop moving and just sit in one place.  It seems that the less I move, the more I see.

Paul Schmitt

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