[Tweeters] Red-eyed Vireos along Satus Creek-18 June

Andy Stepniewski steppie at nwinfo.net
Thu Jun 18 13:47:30 PDT 2015


18 JUNE 2015

I spent an hour this morning along Satus Creek by US-97, south of Toppenish, between Mileposts 36 and 43, targeting RED-EYED VIREOS. Why is this specific stretch of highway so important for this species, the only reliable area I know of for Red-eyed Vireo in Yakima County? From my past experience, I detect this vireo reliably only where White Alder (Alnus rhombifolia) is densest along the creek and within my earshot from a highway stop. Many sites that appear suitable have no safe pullouts so that is a big limiting factor in finding this bird. Pullouts where I heard RED-EYED VIREOS singing this morning were:

MP 37

MP 38.3

MP 40.4

MP 41

Why White Alder is so important to this species here would make a wonderful study. I sense the same close association between Red-eyed Vireos and White Alder in southeastern Washington in the Grande Ronde and Asotin areas.

As a caveat, Red-eyed Vireos can be found in Yakima County, on occasion, in mature Black Cottonwood-dominated riparian habitat. Their presence in this habitat seems only occasional hereabouts, though, in contrast to northwards in eastern Washington, especially in the state’s northeast corner.

Andy Stepniewski Wapato WA steppie at nwinfo.net

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