This past weekend I took a trip over to my friend’s house in Ely. She has been hosting a Varied Thrush at her feeders since mid-December.
The bird is a very handsome male. The male bird of this species is a much brighter color. The female’s plumage is more subdued.
The Varied Thrush is a “rare” regular here in Minnesota. Every winter at least one of these beautiful birds show up in Minnesota. The birds home range is the Pacific Northwest and on the west coast there is a seasonal movement from north to south.
But sometimes in the fall they wander a little too far to the east and end up in Minnesota. My friends in Ely have been spreading out cracked corn under their sunflower feeders and that’s where he spends his time, on the ground eating his fill. Then he will take off and head back to the woods for cover.
As I watched him on this cold, below zero morning, I noticed he would tuck one of his legs up into his feathers. In this photo you can just see his one toenail hanging down from his puffed up feathers.
Two years ago, my friend had a male Varied Thrush at her feeders in December, we are thinking that perhaps this is the same bird. Here is where I blogged about it before: http://visitcranelake.com/blog/?p=346