Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Mom vireo feeds baby in front yard‏

On July 23 we found a young yellow-throated vireo baby on the ground under an old maple near our home and heard a second one nearby.  We thought it must have fallen out of the nest that was up high in the tree since it couldn't fly and had difficulty moving about on the ground.  The next morning we heard a baby calling from a viburnum bush next to our window.  We were happy to see a tiny vireo perched about 2 feet above the ground and later saw a parent feeding it.  By afternoon we saw it fly about 30 feet to another shrub, then later it was calling about 40 feet from that with a parent fussing nearby.  So all is well so far with one of the babies and hopefully our vireo will nest near our home again next year.  

It appears that the behavior of jumping out of the nest may be instinctive, possibly to distract predators from finding a group of youngsters together.  It does expose the youngsters to other dangers inherent in flying/jumping individually from bush to bush, but undoubtedly provides flying practice.

Margaret and Bill Dunson
Galax, VA

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