Though it would be interesting to see just how long this bird can look at me, after an hour I want to move to another rock. The moment I stand up the vireo takes flight. He lands in the top of a nearby tree and for a full minute goes into a paroxysm of alternately hopping and flitting about, and ruffling his feathers -- giving a clear impression of "letting off steam" after his period of intense observation and inactivity. At the minute's end, he flies away. I have never seen a bird behave like this.
At dusk, however, he returns to another nearby perch and continues his earlier intense watchfulness until darkness enshrouds all, and I feel my way into the tent.
Awaiting sleep, I can't shake the feeling that the vireo's behavior is downright spooky. I wonder what a superstitious person would make of the visit? Here in the shadowy belly of an almost supernatural-looking canyon, I wonder what omens, what kinds of vision, what spirits or apparitions a mind could attribute to this little bird's behavior if one just allowed the mind to wander... ?