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Swainson's Thrush [Olive-backed] at Magee Marsh in Ohio.

Swainson’s Thrush [Olive-backed] in Ohio.

Swainson’s thrush (Catharus ustulatus), is a medium-sized thrush. It is a member of genus Catharus and is typical of it regarding its subdued coloration and beautiful voice. Swainson’s thrush was named after William Swainson, an English ornithologist. [Wikipedia]

Swainson's Thrush [Olive-backed] in Ohio.

Swainson’s Thrush [Olive-backed] in Ohio.

The Swainson’s Thrush is medium-sized with a round head and a short, straight bill. Olive-brown above, with a distinct buffy eye-ring. It has white underparts with brownish spotting on the throat and breast. [All About Birds]

Swainson's Thrush [Olive-backed].

Swainson’s Thrush [Olive-backed].

Swainson’s Thrush Facts [All About Birds]

  • The “Russet-backed” Pacific population has more reddish plumage and a slightly different song than the “Olive-backed” birds in the rest of the range. The russet-backed birds winter in Central America while the olive-backed ones winter in South America.
  • Swainson’s Thrushes have been called “mosquito thrushes” for their fly-catching habit of going after flying insects while feeding on their breeding grounds.
  • The Swainson’s Thrush’s whirling song has a ventriloquial quality that can make it difficult to track. This may happen as the singer moves quickly from one perch to another between songs. It may also have to do with the sounds’ reverberation in dense foliage. Swainson’s Thrushes also sometimes sing quiet songs that create the illusion that its song emanates from a more distant location.
  • The longest-lived Swainson’s Thrush on record was at least 12 years, 1 month old when it was re-caught and re-released during banding operations in Montana in 2006.


5 comments on “Swainson’s Thrush [Olive-backed]

  1. rugby843 says:

    Very well camouflaged

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If it wasn’t for its song, I wouldn’t have noticed it.


  2. Nice shots! The Swainson’s Thrush is possibly my favorite bird for its magical and ethereal song. Every time I hear it I feel I am close to reaching nirvana. But I always have a helluva time actually seeing it, so props to you for getting it on camera!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes I get lucky in the field. 🙂


  3. Thank you for visiting and commenting.


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