Every year I marvel that some of the birds I’m seeing traveled thousands of miles just to be here for the summer to raise their young.
This inconspicuous little bird with its subtle coloration is the Swainson’s Thrush – a tropical cousin of the American Robin. They’re very shy and hard to get a good look at most of the time. This one had probably just arrived and was trying to get its bearings. Is this human with a big dark eye a threat? Are there other dangers lurking nearby? Will this forest be my home for the summer?
The Swainson’s Thrush travels from as far away as the foothills of the Andes in South America – over 5,000 miles away – flying mostly at night. What a perilous and exhausting journey. What a miracle.
The flute-like, upward spiraling song of the Swainson’s Thrush provides a sound track to many forests in North America. When they first arrive in early May, one can hear their “whit” call. Their song can be heard within a week or so after arriving when they’re establishing territory and attracting a mate.
There are feathered visitors all around us now. They’re here for only a few months. Welcome birds, one and all.