Wildlife Wednesdays: Red-Eyed Vireo Nest

I have been an avid bird watcher my whole life and have had the privilege to see a lot of neat birds in exotic places. Surprisingly though, one of my biggest treats has been found just a few feet off my deck.

About two weeks ago, my youngest daughter and I were having lunch on our upper deck. As always, my binoculars were on the table and we were keeping an eye on the bird life around us. By chance, we saw a smallish bird flit by us and land on the maple branch near the railing. It was then we noticed that not only had this bird landed by us, but she had spider webs in her beak and was carefully adding them to a nest.

Upon further inspection and a good look at our field guides, we were able to identify our nesting bird as a Red-Eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus). What's even cooler, is the field guides said that many Vireos use spider webs to bind their nests and make them stronger. The female is the nest builder and incubator, but the male can often be seen close by her.

You can see the spider webs hanging from her nest.

Now, every time I'm on the deck, I take a peek at our mother Vireo. I keep a close eye out because vireo nests are one of those most frequently parasitized by cowbirds. So far, so good. I'm hoping to get a look at those babies soon!

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