Thursday, December 17, 2020

Varied Thrush

A flock of about a dozen Varied Thrushes are foraging around our neighborhood. I took these photos of a male and a female on 6 December 2020. I am not sure what they are eating as they feed among fallen leaves of an ornamental maple tree—maple seeds? Varied Thrushes breed from Alaska to the Pacific Northwest. Most winter from northern British Columbia to northern Baja California. Numbers of these birds fluctuate on a two to five year cycle. Here in Washington, their migration seems to be stimulated by mountain snow. Some evidence suggests that northern birds migrate further than southern and coastal populations. During years with high numbers of birds, some Varied Thrushes wander across much of southern Canada and the United States.

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