Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Bell’s Vireo

Word of a Bell’s Vireo in Rice County, Minnesota, near Big Woods State Park, filtered to me via friends and the MOU listserv. After a busy day, Erika and I searched for the bird late Monday afternoon. We immediately heard and saw it at the first stop sing west of the state park, as Dave Bartkey posted on the listserv. The species is found in the central and southwestern United States and is considered to be rare and local in Minnesota.

I have previously posted about Bell’s Vireos. Oddly, the habitat were we found this bird seems to be atypical for this riparian species. With no river very close, two birds sang vociferously from overgrown, shrubby, hilly pastureland. Thinking back on other Bell’s Vireos that I have seen in South Dakota, all were within a few meters of rivers, lakes, or drainage areas. I can find no literature reference of females singing and defending territory, thus I suspect we observed two males.

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