Date: 5/2/19 12:27 pm
From: David Irons <llsdirons...>
Subject: [obol] Re: Lane Co. Swainson's Thrush 5/2
Thanks Noah for this post, as we are in the season when Swainson’s Thrush reports typically bloom prematurely. Any suspected Swainson’s Thrush before the second week of May should be identified with care and a healthy dose of skepticism. Noah has mostly lived on the same property east of Creswell for his entire birding lifetime cally and this May 2 sighting is his earliest ever by FIVE DAYS! Noah is an astute observer with excellent hearing. I think we can safely assume that hasn’t been missing birds that were present all these years.

I think that the incredible breeding season abundance of Swainson’s Thrushes creates the false notion that they are the default spring migrant thrushes in Oregon. From mid-October thru at least 5 May the default Catharus thrush in Oregon is Hermit Thrush. Just yesterday Shawneen and I spent three hours on Cooper Mtn. SW of Portland and we found multiple migrant Hermits and expectedly no Swainson’s. Hermits are generally higher elevation nesters that are absent from the lowlands during the window when Swainson’s predominate and they never approach the sort of numbers that Swainson’s reach from the latter half of May thru September. It is also important to remember that many of the spring migrant Hermits are of a different subspecies than those that winter in western Oregon. They are larger and differently colored, perhaps contributing to Hermits being routinely misidentified as Swainson’s this time of year.

Dave Irons
Beaverton, OR
Sent from my iPhone

> On May 2, 2019, at 10:51 AM, Noah Strycker <noah.strycker...> wrote:
>
> Hi birders,
>
> An early SWAINSON'S THRUSH was in the yard (five miles east of Creswell, south of Eugene) this morning, along with a Hermit Thrush and other migrants. This beats my earliest yard date by five days; in past years I've usually noticed Swainson's arriving here between May 7-11. Maybe they're moving north with the good weather this week.
>
> Happy spring,
> Noah
 
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