Philadelphia Vireo, Vireo philadelphicus
In September 2005, I was lucky enough to get these pictures of this bird, the first of its
species ever recorded in Santa Clara County, without knowing what I was doing. The bird
was in shade and I saw it only as a dark outline against a bright sky when I photographed it.
Later when I viewed the images on my computer and compensated for the underexposure,
the bird showed features inconsistent with the Warbling Vireo I expected to see -- dark lores
and crown, a short bill, and extensive yellow underneath. I posted the pictures with a query
about the identification, and though they are not the greatest quality, local experts found
them good enough to call the bird a Philadelphia Vireo. Unfortunately the best efforts of
local birders were not enough to relocate this great local rarity.