Saturday, September 18, 2010

Wood Thrush

I banded this hatching-year Wood Thrush on Monday, 13 September 2010.  I reported on a spring capture of this species in my blog post dated 13 May 2010.  I include the species again in my blog because I was struck by the beauty of this birds auriculars (the feathers that cover the ears).  Looking back on my earlier post, I did not find the auriclars of that second-year bird to be as strikingly striped as this on this bird. The auriculars on the May bird definitely appear to be more worn.

Wood Thrushes are fairly common breeding birds in the forests surrounding my Dundas banding site. Most females attempt to rear two broods a summer, but two broods may require up to four nesting attempts. Males and females feed the the young but only the females incubate (Roth et al. 1966). Wood Thrush populations have decreased significantly since the late 1970s.  They are vulnerable to deforestation, both in North America and in their winter range in Central and northern South America.  Forest clearing results in the thrush being more prone to predation.  Fragmented forests in their breeding range also leaves them vulnerable to cowbird parasitism (Roth et al. 1966).

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