SWAINSON’S THRUSH

SWAINSON’S THRUSH(Catharus ustulatus) – (See images below)
DESCRIPTION: The Swainson’s Thrush has  medium brown upper parts, and creamy white under parts with brown streaks on the breast. The bill is short and dark grey, and the legs are pinkish grey. Sexes are similar. Length is about 18 cm (7 inches). There are four subspecies.
VOICE: https://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Catharus-ustulatus – Melodius and crystalline song with peculiar acoustic qualities, making it sound from a further location.
NAME: The Swainson’s thrush was named in honor of a British ornithologist, William Swainson. The origin of ‘Thrush’ appears to stem from the Greek word ‘trizo’, to ‘twitter’. The Latin genus name ‘Catharus’ means ‘pure’. The Latin species name ‘ustulatus’ means ‘singed’ and refers to the brown plumage.
HABITAT: Mainly coniferous forests, avoids areas of human activity.
DIET: Insects foraged on the ground, and berries when available.
NESTING: Nest placed on tree branch not far from ground. Three or four light blue eggs are laid, incubated by the female. Chicks fed by both parents.
DISTRIBUTION: Breeds in the boreal forests of Canada and Alaska. Migrates to the USA, Mexico and the Caribbean, winters in Central America and western forests of South America.
Distribution map: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swainson%27s_thrush#/media/File:Catharus_ustulatus_map.svg
ON PEI: Breeds on Prince Edward Island, fairly common in spring and summer.
CONSERVATION: Numbers would be around 100 million but have been declining in last few decades. Not currently considered at risk.
NOTES:  A related species, the Hermit Thrush, might displace the Swainson’s thrush when their territories overlap.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Hermit Thrush, Bicknell’s Thrush, Fieldfare, Wood Thrush
REFERENCES: https://www.borealbirds.org/bird/swainsons-thrush
https://www.mba-aom.ca/jsp/toc.jsp (Maritimes Breeding Bird Atlas)
American Bird Conservancy (Swainson’s Thrush)
http://fieldguide.mt.gov/speciesDetail.aspx?elcode=ABPBJ18100 (Montana Field Guide)
https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/swainsons-thrush
Vermont Center for Ecostudies (Swainson’s Thrush)
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/swainsons_thrush/id
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swainson%27s_thrush#Subspecies

Swainson's Thrush - Charlie Lake, BC - May 18, 2009 - Gerry
Swainson’s Thrush – Charlie Lake, BC – May 18, 2009 – Gerry
Swainson's Thrush, front view - South Padre Island, TX - Apr. 21, 2013 - TonyCastro
Swainson’s Thrush, front view – South Padre Island, TX – Apr. 21, 2013 – Tony Castro

BACK TO THE TOP