Friday, May 20, 2011

Swainson's Thrush; Early May Migration through Northern llinois

A Swainson's Thrush, Blackhawk Springs Forest Preserve, Rockford, IL; 5/1/2011.
While hiking through Blackhawk Springs Forest Preserve on May 1, I saw three different types of Thrushes. Two I have seen before (Wood and Hermit) but the 3rd type was a Lifer for me (#286) - the Swainson's Thrush. These guys look an awful like their cousins, Hermit Thrushes, but the characteristic which identified it for me was its buff-colored spectacles and eye-ring. The Hermit's eye ring is white and their tail is more reddish. Swainson's Thrushes make northern Illinois a stopover as they travel through to their summer grounds of Canada, Alaska, northern Wisconsin and Michigan, the northeast states, as well as the Rockies and the northern Pacific coastal states.

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