Yellow-green Vireos return from the south

This morning brought my first sure garden sighting of the year for the Yellow-green Vireo (Vireo flavoviridis). This individual is already chirping loudly, though not with its full, tuneful, but rather disjointed song. This species nests here in the garden each year but then migrates to South America, usually by October. However, I have not noted it after late August, perhaps because by then it has stopped singing and is less conspicuous. Despite its regular presence here each year, it is rated as rare on the Caribbean slope. Here in Turrialba we are located in the Caribbean region but at the entrance to the Central Valley.

 

yellow-green-vireo-cr-1

Yellow-green Vireo, courtesy of Karel Straatman

Karel’s file photo shows the salient field marks: yellow flanks and vent plus red eye and eye-line. The eye-line is less pronounced than on the much paler Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus), a common passage migrant from the north that returns from the south to our area of Costa Rica towards the end of March and is gone by the end of April back to its nesting grounds in North America.

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