Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Varied Thrush

The Varied Thrush is found along the west coast of North America from Alaska to southern California. Northern birds leap-frog over southern ones during migration, wintering further south than more southern breeders, which may be fairly sedentary. Every two to five years, populations irrupt, and Varied Thrushes occur in very low numbers across North America.

Erika and I drove over to a backyard in Hastings, Minnesota, on Sunday afternoon to see a Varied Thrush that has attracted a plethora of birders during the past few months. Remarkably tame, but difficult to photograph, the thrush roosted deep within the lower branches of a spruce. This location is somewhat consistent with the bird's breeding habitat--dark, wet northwest rainforests where it prefers old-growth and avoids fragmented tracts (Luke 2000).

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