Sunday, September 6, 2015

Wood Thrush

Among four Swainson’s Thrushes I banded Friday evening, I was surprised to find a Wood Thrush. This thrush is common enough in area woodlands, but I do not catch many in the small forest behind our home. Our forest patch must be too small to support resident Wood Thrushes. This young bird must be a migrant—unfortunately, in our woods, I do not hear the loud, flute-like calls during the breeding season.

Because Wood Thrushes are intolerant to forest fragmentation, both in their eastern North American breeding territory and in their Central American wintering range. they have become increasingly uncommon since the 1970s (Evans et al. 2011). Habitat destruction in North America leaves this species vulnerable to nest parasitism by cowbirds and, in both North and South America, cutting of forests forces Wood Thrushes into secondary habitats where they become more exposed to various predators.

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