Monday, September 24, 2012

Our Other Thrushes

Swainson's Thrush (c) 2012 High Virginia Images
Migration time is at its peak, right now. Each morning brings new birds for us to enjoy. The sulking thrushes are often overlooked among the colorful warblers bouncing from branch tips. But, they are here in numbers, too. The song of the Wood Thrush is known to all, Hermit Thrushes are the only thrush that we may find overwintering here. The Veery is very common and unknown to many. Most have not even heard of the other two.

The Swainson's Thrush (Catharus ustulatus) does nest here in the highest elevations of Pocahontas, Randolph, Tucker, Pendleton and Grant counties. The buffy eye-ring is themajor identification point for this species. The majority of the population nests in the North, in the middle regions of Canada and Alaska. The entire population is on its annual southward move, right now.

Gray-ckeeked Thrush (c)2012 High Virginia Images
The Gray-cheeked Thrush (Catharus minimus) is the nesting thrush of the Far North. It nests throughout Alaska and Northern Canada. It is a bird of the northern spruce forests. It is distinguished by its partial eye-ring and a duller grayish appearance. It may be found in any overgrown area near you, right now. Like I have said many times before; you never know what you may find, if you just look. Be observant and you will be rewarded.

The photo of the Swainson's Thrush was taken at Camp Garnett on the Rich Mountain Battlefield in Randolph County, WV. The Gray-cheeked Thrush was photographed in my yard in Norton, Randolph County, WV; yesterday.

(c) 2012 All Rights Reserved High Virginia Outdoors-High Virginia Images

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