Date: 5/6/18 5:38 am
From: James Phillips <jimandjudyphillips...>
Subject: vireo bully
We stopped in at Bellepoint Park at the base of Bluestone Dam yesterday
morning. Despite kids in the playground, grownups playing basketball and a
little league baseball game, the trees were full of birds.
We picked out waxwings, orioles, vireos and several warblers. Then we
noticed birds chasing each other frantically through the trees. At first,
it was mostly warbling vireos putting goldfinches, chickadees and yellow
warblers on the go.
Then two birds took to the air high above the trees and began jabbing each
other with their beaks and clasping feet. Unable to stay in flight, they
plummeted toward the ground and crashed on the seat of a park bench. After
a few seconds of recovery, the two then went to the ground and the larger
bird continued to thump the smaller bird. Now, we could see that the
red-eyed vireo was beating the male Cape May warbler.
The vireo flew off and the warbler remained on the ground with one wing
pointing at an awkward angle for nearly a minute. Then, it flew to the
lowest branch of the nearest tree(about 10' off the ground). It remained
there for about another minute or so, seeming to preen and arrange itself.
It continued to hop/fly upward to the next branch and eventually flew off.
It was an amazing sight that gave us the best look ever at a Cape May
warbler. Just glad we didn't have to rescue him.
Jim & Judy Phillips
Summers County
Pipestem, WV
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