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The Binocular Advisornone

This Morning Outside

by Diane Porter

August 4, 2010
At the edge of the woods at Birdwatching Dot Com
Fairfield, Iowa

This morning a little bird in the woods near my house reminded me of Harriet Barker, who taught this bird to me years ago. I met her on a birdwatching trail in the Chiricahua Mountains of Arizona. We never saw the bird. But we listened to its emphatic song coming out of a bush.

Bell's Vireo
Photo copyright 2010 Michael and Diane Porter

"It's the Question-and-answer bird," Harriet told me. "Bell's vireo. It sounds like it's asking a question and then answering it."

I had to agree.

Wouldja switch a witch's widget witz a switch? it sang.

And right after came the answer: Witches switch a scritch's stitches witz a chew!

It's more often heard than seen. Often it's just a scratchy song coming out of a thicket. Once you learn it, you'll never forget it.

It wasn't singing this morning. I had to identify it by its appearance, which is considerably more difficult than by its song.

The Question-and-answer bird. The Bell's vireo.

—Diane Porter

Outside Grid

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from This Morning Outside

Bell's Vireo Thumbnail

 

 

 

 

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