Yellow-throated Vireo
Westminster Memorial Park
Orange County, California
January 10, 1998
Joseph Morlan

This morning Robbie Fischer and I decided to join Andy Lazere to look for the Yellow-throated Vireo which had been reported at the Westminster Memorial Cemetery. It was apparently first found December 29, 1998 by Martin Byhower. We arrived around 8am at the north end of the cemetery and searched the Olive and Carob trees without much success. Yellow-rumped Warblers were abundant and a few Townsend's Warblers generated excitement as did at least one apparent false alarm.

Finally at 9:45am the word went out. Martin Meyers of Truckee had located the bird. By the time we arrived, the bird had moved into a different Olive Tree and then flew again. Finally I got reasonably good views of this bird which was moved rapidly down the row of Olive Trees and disappeared after about five minutes of brief views, and quick glimpses. However it did remain still and in the open a few times and I was able to see the bird well in fairly good light.

The following is based on notes taken immediately after seeing the bird:

Larger than nearby Yellow-rumped Warblers with large round head. The chin, throat and breast were yellow contrasting with an greenish-olive crown, back and face. There was a somewhat smudgy pattern on the side of the neck where olive intruded slightly into the yellow. The dark eye was surrounded by yellow spectacles which did not contrast much with the olive-yellow on the face but were obvious when looked for. These spectacles wrapped around behind and over the eye and across the lores, but were broken in front of the eye.

The belly and undertail appeared grayish-white (not pure white). The wings were gray with bold white wing-bars and tertial fringes. The gray rectrices also showed some white fringing.

The bill was thick and grayish and was slightly hooked at the tip. When seen from in front, the bird's overall shape and coloration recalled a Western Tanager. The legs were blue-gray.