Some Birds I Have Seen On Our
Rutgers University Camden Campus

Pictures taken with Panasonic GS19

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Red-eyed Vireo

Digital photos taken with Panasonic GS-19  behind BSB (September 26, 2006).  Mouse click on picture to see videos.

On September 26, 2006 while returning from giving a lunch-time talk about the Birds of Rutgers Camden to the Rotary Club of Camden, I found this bird behind the BSB building.  It had run into the building while migrating and was stunned.  Luckily it didn't break its neck.  I picked it up and it held on to my finger.  I was afraid of a cat or hawk finding it in this state.  After a few minutes its grogginess cleared up but it  didn't want to get off my finger.  It tried to fly once but didn't get far.  I could see that its wings were fine.  I held it for a few minutes more and then set it in the nearby Serviceberry Bush.  I checked on it about an hour later and it had not moved from the spot.  (There were two female Common Yellowthroats darting in the low shrubs below the Serviceberry branches.  One had a real bright yellow spot on its chest.)  I checked about two hours later and it was still there.  But this time it was moving around in the branches.  Not flying yet just jumping quickly from branch to branch throughout the bush.  (This time there was an Ovenbird wandering around at the base of the Serviceberry Bush.)  I checked about one half hour later and it was gone.  (The Mockingbird then flew into the bush and I gave it some raisins.) 

It took a while to figure what it was.  It looked like a Warbler - smallish bird with a thin pointy beak.  But I didn't recognize it.  So I started a process of elimination.  No wings bars - knocks out about half.  Very little yellow coloration - knocks out a lot more.  No stripes or marks on it chest - takes out a few more.  The solid white chest is significant.  The eye markings of white and black are also significant.  But the big clue is the bluish gray head coloration.  One WEB site calls this the "Adult male alternate" of the Tennessee Warbler.  Another WEB site has a picture that highlights the bluish gray head color.  But the dark line above the eye is the real problem for identification.  The Tennessee Warbler does not have it.  The only bird I found that has it is the Red-eyed Vireo.  But in these shots I can't see the red that is mentioned in the literature.  There is one reference that states the red is hard to see in the eye.  My guess is that since I was in shadow when I was photographing this bird, the red doesn't show up.  So after much searching WEB sites for similar birds my guess is that this is a Red-eyed Vireo and not a Tennessee Warbler which I had first considered.  The Smithsonian WEB site had a nice picture.

I had seen a similar bird six years ago.  It had also run into the BSB building and was stunned.  I picked it up and after a few minutes it flew into the bushes.  I didn't have a camera at that time to capture the image but I had guessed that it was a Tennessee Warbler.  After doing some research I found that most of the time this Warbler is noted as migrating between Mexico and Canada through the Mississippi Valley.  With this information I had removed the note about a Tennessee Warbler from my WEB pages and replaced it with the female Common Yellowthroat since they seem to be plentiful around here.  I thought I was mixing the two.  I now believe that bird to be the Red-eyed Vireo.

Below are shots of the same bird taken from video.  The edited videos are linked to the pictures.  The first four are from when I found the bird.  The second four are from when I placed the bird into the Serviceberry tree.

Frames clipped from video taken with Panasonic GS-19  behind BSB (September 26, 2006).  Mouse click on picture to see videos.

Here we see the bird after it had regained its senses and I placed it in the Serviceberry tree.

Frames clipped from video taken with Panasonic GS-19  behind BSB (September 26, 2006).  Mouse click on picture to see videos.

Digital photo taken with Panasonic GS-19  behind BSB (September 26, 2006) and edited.

I had printed out the original image of this photo on a black and white printer and noted that you could see a difference in the eye and its iris.  I then went and lightened the image and in this version you can see the difference in the eye.


A Red-eyed Vireo was discover at the back door of BSB by Ann on September 3, 2000.
The bird may have flown into the building and been stunned. I picked it up and it flew into the bushes.


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Ed McHugh, OIT Camden Computing Service.
Copyright 2004 [OIT Camden]. All rights reserved.
Revised: Tuesday, April 01, 2008

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