Hi John, nice to see you posting again. So, the bird in question appears to be a juvenile Townsend's Solitaire in my opinion it is a juvenile because the buffy wingbars are not so prominent, but let's wait to see what Ward will say. Plus, it is the time of the year when the Solitaire's have fledged, I saw one when I was in Okanogan county last week.
I've never seen a young Townsend's Solitaire either - in fact, until last year I hadn't seen an adult. And I can see why the first thought would be "flycatcher" - from the thumbnails my first thought was something like Ash-throated Flycatcher. But that would have had much more prominent wingbars, and once I looked at the larger pictures I could see immediately it was a thrush, not a flycatcher.
Given that a young bird should still be spotted at this time of year, though, I don't think this is a recent fledgling. Adults can have either bright or drab wingbars, and I'm guessing this is one of the latter.
It's one of those things you pick up over time, but U.S. thrushes have a typical eye pattern that jumps out at you - a dark eye surrounded by an eye ring. You don't see that ring on some atypical thrushes, such as male bluebirds, and not on Varied Thrushes, but you see it on most of the rest, just as in your pictures.
You've got some cool birds there and you're getting great pictures!
Hey again John, I am ashamed to admit this but when I first saw a Townsend's Solitaire, I mistook it for a Northern Mockingbird and am I ever glad I did not try to notify the WOS about the "rare" bird...
And Kevin, again, thanks for your input and you are absolutely correct, a fledgling Townsend's Solitaire is speckled sort of like a robin, this one I saw with it's parent so I am absolutely sure it is a hatch year, I just noticed that not all Townsend's show that buffy wing bar, my bad...
Well, John, this new bird has that same "Thrush" look to it and it is spotted like one as well, but I'm sure my dear friend WArd will correct me, it appears to have the rufous tail of a Hermit Thrush, and fairly recently fledged. I get over wintering Hermit Thrush, even had one eating suet under the feeder last year, but I have never seen a fledgling like you have. Was it pumping it's tail?
Young thrushes other than Wood Thrush are hard. At least in New Mexico you only have one reddish tailed thrush not three like in the east. All I can say is that it is probably Hermit Thrush. Apparently Swainson's Thrush also breeds in mountains there - per range map. You wouldn't expect Swainson's too have a rusty tail but who knows at that age and the reddishness is just a hint.
I obviously blew it on the age of the Solitare. That is what I get for shooting from the hip while at work.
This message has been edited by WardDa on Jul 12, 2012 9:42 AM
I knew as soon as I typed my last post I should not have guessed because I am always wrong about thrushes...Even though I've heard Hermit Thrush at high elevations during the summer, I've never seen a fledgling, nor have I seen a fledgling Swainson's Thrush and they breed down lower at my elevation.
By the way John, it looks like that Thrush is standing in a Zip Lock Container? Did you use a water drip to attract it?
LOL OK, OK, I don't have a clue to what this birds is, but I sure am having a lot of fun guessing! The chicks are really hard to get right. Thanks Ruth and Ward for the education on these guys. Lots of new ones for me way up here on this mountain and I can still mark one down for the life list. This has turn out to be a great birding place.
Ruth I don't recall it pumping it tail, it just stayed busy enjoying the water. I did not have a drip, just put out some water in the zip lock. I would love to have a drip if I could find one that did these two things, one be very portable because I am in a RV full time, two, be solar power because I like to stay in the woods/desert a lot and I have only battery power, charge by my solar bank on the RV.
Let's go bird watching!
This message has been edited by poppabird on Jul 12, 2012 3:49 PM
Ward, you didn't blow it on the age of the Solitaire, I was the one who mistook it for a juvenile. I still wonder if it isn't quite a full adult though because it isn't all gray like the adults I see over here.
And John, so I am very slow and finally I understand you are in your motorhome up in the mountains at 9000 feet LOL...Just to let you know, you don't need an actual electrical pump to create a drip. All you need is to take a gallon jug, puncture a small hope and attach it up high and let it drip into something underneath and don't forget the attractive perch LOL. See this link from Arthur Morris/Birds as Art, who makes a living at this sort of thing:
Thanks Ruth, Water is kind of like power when off the grid, not a lot to go around. I guess when you said drip I was thinking of recycling the water and a pump came to mind. I may find me a mud hole( a water supply for the drip) and give the drip a try. Thanks again.
Another thing to consider for the milk-carton drip: if you make the container that catches the drip big enough, you can re-use the water to refill the drip jug several times. Some will evaporate and splash, and it will get dirty eventually, but you may even be able to rig up some sort of filter (or use a Brita filtering jug to clean the water) so that you re-use it over and over and over.