Yellow-throated Vireo

Still later in the day, in early afternoon, the rich, burry three-eight song of a Yellow-throated Vireo moved through the woods beyond the back yard, another woodland bird that I was happy to hear, even though it stayed too well hidden in the trees to see. A small songbird with a colorful and striking appearance – olive-green back and head, white wingbars, bright yellow throat and breast, and bold yellow spectacles around the eyes – a Yellow-throated Vireo has become less common around our neighborhood in recent years.

Though it prefers habitat around the edges of forests, a Yellow-throated Vireo also needs a fairly large forested area in order to breed successfully, so it may be that changes in habitat here and in the surrounding area have made these woods less attractive for them.

By this time of day, the dusky clouds of early morning were long gone, leaving a deep-blue sky and gleaming white cumulous clouds, and a bright, very warm sun. A juvenile Eastern Bluebird, spotted and wide-eyed, perched, pecked and preened a little, on a low, dead stub of a branch in a large pine. A Northern Cardinal, House Wren, Tufted Titmouse, House Finch, Chipping Sparrow and Carolina Wren sang, Carolina Chickadees chattered, Blue Jays cried, and Ruby-throated Hummingbirds twittered as they came to the feeder on the deck.

And so this is how the month of May has ended – with warm, sunny, humid weather; blue sky and dreamy, drifting, towering white clouds; and with many active birds  – though still remarkably few of our usual neotropical summer birds.

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