Sunday, November 02, 2014

White Eyed Vireo - A Newfounfland Rarity

This rare vagrant was recently fleetingly seen  by two passionate birders, and, of course, I wanted to see this life bird also. I had already spent several hours scouring the bush in the hopes of finding it and, the following day, I was back for a another round near the town of Blackhead.  Saturday brought with it many birders all eager to catch a glimpse. You would expect that the crowd of people mulling about would decrease the chance of success but not so. The experienced birders quickly placed eyes on the vireo and I was able to capture probably the first photo of a White-eyed Vireo in Newfoundland.

Although not endowed with a particularly colored plumage, this rarity was indeed beautiful with its olive greens and yellows not to mention the uniquely splendid white iris. White Eyed Vireos are reported as single birds about once a year in Newfoundland and are even more rarely photographed.

It's a small song bird that breeds in the southeastern United States from New Jersey west to northern Missouri south to Texas and Florida, and also in eastern Mexico  and northern Central America, Cuba and the Bahamas

Populations on the US Gulf Coast  and further south are resident, but most North American  birds migrate south in winter.  It is fascinating to theorize how this solo traveler found its way to our fair Island !

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