As I got out of my car at County Rd M and the Chippewa River Bike Trail, I heard one of the many bird sounds I could not identify. It sounded like a vireo - but the riparian canopy was full of grosbeaks, orioles, tanagers and warblers.
It was way up there, singing away, driving me to distraction.
I'd left my iPod at home. All I had with me was my ability to pish. So I pished... and pished .... and pished. Finally, the songster flew down for a look at what was causing all the sibilance.
A gray, non-descript bird slightly larger than a warbler, with a white eye-line leaned over to get a look at me. Then seemingly satisfied that my pish was not worthy of concern, it flitted back into the shadows of the green canopy and resumed singing.
According to Cornell's Ornithology Lab, the Warbling Vireo is "a drab bird of riparian woodlands, more easily heard than seen. It has no distinctive fieldmarks, but its rapid warbling song with a accented, high-pitched last note is relatively easy to recognize."
It's a complicated rapid jumble of rising and falling notes, usually ending in an accented, higher-pitched note.
The mneumonics (memory assisting phrases) of the bird song goes like this: "If I sees you; I will seize you; and I'll squeeze you till you squirt; brigadier; brigadier; briga-tee."
Yep, that makes it easier to remember.