[Tweeters] Varied Thrushes breeding in Anacortes

Wayne Weber contopus at telus.net
Tue May 21 10:39:13 PDT 2019

Kristi and Tweeters,

Varied Thrushes in the breeding season are not unusual near sea level-- where there is remaining old-growth forest. However, there is precious little old-growth forest left at or near sea level in western WA, with the result that Varied Thrushes are definitely a rare breeder at low altitudes.

However, Varied Thrushes are definitely much more abundant at higher altitudes (above 2500 feet or so). Here in southwestern BC, I would say that they are 10 times as common in the mountains than they are in sea-level old-growth (such as Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver, where they have also nested).

Wayne C. Weber

Delta, BC

contopus at telus.net

From: Tweeters [mailto:tweeters-bounces at mailman11.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Kristi Hein
Sent: Sunday, May 19, 2019 10:09 PM
To: Tweeters List
Subject: [Tweeters] Varied Thrushes breeding in Anacortes

Early this morning, while hiking in the Anacortes Community Forest Lands, I was startled to see a Varied Thrush with a fledgling! Speckled breast, begging to be fed. Perched briefly together on an evergreen branch about 20 feet up. Too dark for a photo.

I thought they were long gone to the mountains to breed. In fifteen years here, this is the first proof of lowland breeding that I've seen. Any observations from the experts?

In more seasonal news, I also heard the first Swainson's Thrush song of 2019 in the forest! At Little Cranberry Lake, a pair of Tree Swallows mated on top of a snag, an Osprey caught a fish, an Anna's Hummingbird hawked deftly for invisible insects, and a Canada Goose stood calmly in the shallows. Bliss.

Kristi Hein

Kristi Hein
Pictures & Words Editorial Services
"When your words have to be right"
Anacortes, Washington
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