Sunday, April 28, 2013

Brown Thrasher in the Yard

Happy Spring.  Some of you know, I have been working on another less fun writing project this winter and early spring.  I am finished!  Back to blogging!

The birds in the yard have been keeping me company, there has been no shortage of material to write about.  Today though I had the prod I needed to get back in action.  I had the pleasure of seeing a new bird, both new to me and to the yard.

brown thrasher

A brown thrasher!  I was sitting out this morning enjoying the sun, when I saw a bird hop from one of the rhododendrons to the grass.  I put the binoculars on him not expecting anything but a robin, but instead was treated to a bird I wasn't sure of at first.

brown thrasher near rhododendrum

He was rufous on top, white underneath, with either black spots or streaks.  At first I thought he was a thrush, but one of the ones I'd never seen.  As I thumbed through my guide book, I realized he was a brown thrasher.  The double wing bars were key to me identifying him.  Also the yellow eyes.

brown thrasher front view

Unfortunately, I had him in sight only for a few seconds when he flew away.  I sat, waiting and hoping I'd see him again, because at that point I wasn't sure what I'd seen, and I hadn't had a chance to get any pictures.

brown thrasher checking out the lawn

Luckily, a few minutes later, I heard singing, and all doubt was removed as to what bird I had seen.  The brown thrasher mimics, like a mockingbird, but whereas a mockingbird tends to sing four sets of every song, the brown thrasher sings in twos.

brown thrasher another view

And does he sing!  Loud and on and on.  While he sang I tried to identify all the birds he was mimicking.  I heard him mimic a blue bird, cardinal, and wood thrush, among many others.

brown thrasher sings

Later the bird was back in the yard, and I got some pictures of him both on the ground and later in a nearby tree singing.

What a pleasure to see and hear this bird for the first time!

Enjoy the day - Cheerily