It's a New Day

August 2019

Vol. 47, No. 4

Musings from the Blind Birder: A Bird of One's Own

Martha Steele

Moving slowly along a quiet road in the Hill Country of Texas, my husband Bob and I heard an unfamiliar song coming from a tree adjacent to the road. We stopped to try to find the bird and identify the source of the song. The bird was singing nonstop a song I had never heard, but not moving and not responding to Bob's spishes. Bob was rummaging through his considerable memory forged over decades of birding in North America and beyond, trying to think what the bird might be. The bird teased and challenged us to identify him without revealing himself from behind foliage. Bob said, "Let's try Bell's Vireo." While Bob continued to search visually, I pulled out my iPhone, double-tapped on the Sibley eGuide to North American Birds app, and entered Bell's Vireo in the search menu. I played the first song, to which we both exclaimed "That's it!" As if to share in our excitement, the bird flew across the road and sat in plain view, continuing its song to ward off the intruder that had just come from my cell phone. "Bell's Vireo, indeed," said Bob, very pleased with himself, as well he should have been.

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