Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Thrushes have invaded...

Another light northwest wind overnight helped us catch 50 new birds and 5 recaptures. Thrushes were the catch of the day. We had three of the five brown thrushes. Swainson's, Gray-cheeked, and Veery from left to right. Notice their brown versus red-brown back coloration. This will help you differentiate from the red-backed/red tailed Veery and the brown backed/brown-tailed Gray-cheeked and Swainson’s Thrush. I want to know why the Swainson's Thrush used to be called the Olive-backed Thrush. It looks like to me the Gray-cheeked should have been called that. Oh well, they did not ask for my opinion.
The Swainson’s is the only thrush in this group to have an eye ring. Gray-cheeked Thrush and Veery do not have an eye ring. Can you tell how the Gray-cheeked got its name? I guess what else would you call it? Notice also that the breast spots on each species is different. Swainson's usually wears vivid breast spots with some buffiness. The Gray-cheeked has vivid spots and no buffy coloration. The Veery has blurry, indistinct spots.
Top five species:
Swainson’s Thrush – 15
Common Yellowthroat – 7
Gray Catbird -5
Gray-cheeked Thrush - 5
Blackpoll Warbler – 5

The winds are supposed to shift to the Northeast for the next two days. Friday and Saturday the overnight winds are northeast but during the day it is to be NNW. I am not sure what kind of migration will happen with these winds. No rain is forecasted so that will be good for the Midwest Birding Symposium happening around here this weekend. Songbird Banding demonstrations will be held at the Observatory this Friday and Saturday from 8 AM – 9:30 AM so come on out and see some birds up close!

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