Phipps Ranch, Pescadero
San Mateo County, Calif.
A relatively large, heavy-bodied vireo, recalling Red-eyed Vireo, but fairly bright yellow-green above and below.
The bill was very long, pale pinkish on the basal 3/4ths and grayish horn at the tip. Straight, thick with a noticeable hook at the tip.
The crown was gray, bordered by dark gray on either side; the gray borders blending with gray on crown. The gray crown stopped at the top of the nape where it contrasted with the yellow-green color that extended up from the back. A dark gray eye-line extended from the bill and across the top of the ear coverts. The rear of the ear coverts were light yellow-green. The eye was dark.
Upperparts relatively uniform yellow-green. Wing coverts and outer rectrices showing strong yellow-green fringes.
Underparts satin white, including chin, throat and upper belly contrasting with fairly bright yellow on lower belly, undertail coverts, flanks, and sides connecting across the side of the neck to the rear of the ear-coverts. Yellow on sides of breast extending toward mid-breast, but not quite meeting in the center. The yellow on the underparts had a greenish tint so it didnít contrast noticeably with the darker yellow-green upperparts.
Tail short, usually cocked up. Tips of rectrices seemed somewhat worn.
The bird spent most of its time foraging in the willows by itself, but later joined a flock of chickadees and warblers. It was noticeably larger than the other birds in the flock. It often craned its neck and cocked its tail.
This is the fifth Yellow-green Vireo I have seen in California. Others were October 1985 at Stinson Beach; September 1990 at Middle Lake in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco; October 1993 at Bolinas Lagoon; and October 1995 at Lake Merced, San Francisco.
This appears to be the first record of this species for San Mateo County.
380 Talbot Avenue #206
Pacifica, CA 94044