Friday, October 11, 2013

Turdidae Friday

Although the winds have been perfect for migration at night, there is still a storm system sitting over the northeast keeping migrants from moving south.  That being said, we still managed to capture 66 new birds.  The highlight of the day was the capture of 3 species from the family Turdidae: Gray-cheeked Thrush, Swainson’s Thrush, and our first of the season Wood Thrush.  We were able to take some comparison shots of the Gray-cheeked and Swainson’s but sadly the Wood Thrush was captured on an earlier round.     

Gray-cheeked Thrush and Swainson’s Thrush are in the genus Cathurus along with Hermit Thrush and Veery.  They are similar in size with Gray-cheeked being slightly larger.  Swainson’s have a buffy breast and an olive coloration to their upper parts and have often been referred to as the Olive-backed Thrush.  Gray-cheeked overall have a much grayer appearance.        

Swainson's Thrush (left) and Gray-cheeked Thrush (right)
One of the best ways to differentiate Swainson’s Thrush from Gray-cheeked Thrush is to look at the facial pattern.  Swainson’s Thrush can be recognized by the appearance of buffy “spectacles” created by their lores and bold eye ring.  Gray-cheeked lack eye rings and have a grayer face, hence the name.  The photo below shows a nice comparison of facial markings between these two species of thrush.

Gray-cheeked Thrush (top) and Swainson's Thrush (bottom)

Wood Thrush is the only member in the genus Hylocichla and is a chunkier bodied thrush than the Cathurus Thrushes.  Wood Thrush are easily recognized by the bold, triangular spotting on the breast and the rich rufous of the upper parts.    

Wood Thrush (HY, unknown)


1 White-eyed Vireo
1 Red-eyed Vireo
2 House Wren 
2 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
2 Swainson’s Thrush
1 Gray-cheeked Thrush
1 Wood Thrush
19 Gray Catbird
6 Black-throated Blue Warbler
1 Prairie Warbler
3 American Redstart
21 Common Yellowthroat
1 Scarlet Tanager
2 Indigo Bunting
3 Eastern Towhee 
1 Downey Woodpecker
1 Carolina Chickadee
9 Gray Catbird
2 Northern Mockingbird
1 American Redstart
1 Painted Bunting
1 Northern Cardinal 

# of Birds Banded: 66
# of Recaptures: 16
# of Species: 20
Effort: 107.1 net-hours
Capture Rate: 76.6 birds/100 net-hours
# of Nets: 20

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