Swainson’s Thrush

photo by Phil Swanson

Catharus ustulatus
L 7″ (18 cm).

Song or calls:
Song is ascending spiral of varied whistles, becoming fainter until the last notes fade out.

Description: Sexes similar. Uniformly brownish above; white below, with dark spots on buffy breast; brownish-gray sides and flanks; buffy cheeks and lores; and bold buffy eye ring. Tail and back are similarly colored.

Bird Map
Habitat: Migrants found in riverbottom forests, shelterbelts, and in park or shade trees in urban and suburban areas. Limited in the Pine Ridge area to cool and dense coniferous forests having a fairly open understory.

Where in Nebraska: Common spring and fall migrant across the state. Rare summer resident in Pine Ridge area, with single known breeding record for Dawes County.

Field Notes: Migrants fly at night, and feed and rest during the day.

Fun Facts: The Swainson’s Thrush is a common bird statewide in spring and fall and commonly found in city parks and shelterbelts.

Swainson's Thrush - photo by Phil SwansonSwainson's Thrush - photo by Phil Swanson
(click image for larger view)