Thursday, April 23, 2015

taking w/ the red-eye

Red-eyed vireo photo by John Benson
We're old friends really. And even though you hardly ever see them or their tiny red eyes, you know they're there in the canopy endlessly singing...or chattering short phrases.

Walking out to the mailbox this morning I heard one over the driveway. Chattering. Back from its winter in South America. Back to my woods.

This olive drab passerine with grayish noggin may sing for long periods, endlessly repeating the same quandary, the same back and forth. A tireless songster, the red-eyed vireo holds the record for most songs given in a single day among bird species. More than 20,000 phrases in a day. Day after day after day. 140,000 in a week. For me the chatter began today:

"Look at me...I'm up here...Really I am...Way up high...Oh, see me...How can you not?...Give me a look." 

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