Date: 3/6/18 8:10 am
From: john polo <jpolo...>
Subject: [obol] Hermit Thrush foraging behavior

Last Friday, I saw a Hermit Thrush in our tiny yard. I had seen a HETH
several times in late December and part of January. It was taking fruit
off of a bush that I don't recognize and most of the bush was picked
clean where I could see it, so I figured I wouldn't see the bird much
any more.

When the bird was in the yard this past Friday, it was down on the
ground, apparently foraging. It was the first time I saw it move to the
ground of all its visits (I'm assuming it was the same bird I saw couple
of months ago). While it was searching, I noticed its legs shivering. I
was close, I was just on the other side of a glass door to the yard, and
could see the bird quite well. It was just the legs shaking pretty
violently and I was surprised that a bird would be that cold in weather
that was about 44 degrees. I've seen juncos and thrushes in snow and
never shake at all. It was just in the legs.

I emailed a couple of friends because I thought it was weird to see a
bird shiver and one of them came back with a link to a blog that wrote
about this same behavior in HETH. Here is the link:

Anyway, I thought this was pretty interesting and figured I'd share
this. I suppose I don't get to watch thrushes just act "normal", since
my situation Friday was akin to being in a blind (already being in place
and able to observe the bird as it moved about its business), instead of
the usual pish and the bird shows up for a minute to check the
disturbance and then runs off and hides.

good birding,
john polo

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