Varied thrush

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Varied thrush
Zoothera naevia 31224.JPG
Male
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Turdidae
Genus: Ixoreus
Bonaparte, 1854
Species: I. naevius
Binomial name
Ixoreus naevius
Gmelin, 1789
Subspecies
  • I. n. meruloides
  • I. n. naevius
Synonyms

Zoothera naevia

The varied thrush (Ixoreus naevius) is a member of the thrush family Turdidae.

Taxonomy[edit]

The German naturalist Johann Friedrich Gmelin described the varied thrush in 1789. Two subspecies are recognised.

Description[edit]

Female

The varied thrush is a fairly large thrush species. It can range from 20 to 26 cm (7.9 to 10.2 in) in length and can span 34 to 42 cm (13 to 17 in) across the wings. Body mass can vary from 65 to 100 g (2.3 to 3.5 oz). Among standard measurements, the wing chord is 11.8 to 13.6 cm (4.6 to 5.4 in), the bill is 1.8 to 2.3 cm (0.71 to 0.91 in) and the tarsus is 2.9 to 3.3 cm (1.1 to 1.3 in). It is similar in size to the widespread American robin, though the varied is on average shorter with a heavier, more robust build.[2][3] In general, varied thrushes feature intense orange and black feathers.[4] Adult males exhibit medium orange with a curved gray pattern at the breasts and throats, with grayish-blue tail ends, scruffs, and crowns. They also possess a tufted supraloral stripe and streaks of dark colors on its flight feathers. Its bill is also achromatic, but tan near the bottom of the lower jaw. Its legs are often tawny or dark brown. Females' markings are not as well-defined, with olive-browns and grays, brown hind feathers, and indiscernible gray-brown plumage near the breasts. Young varied thrushes are generally brown, though its stomach feathers are white, and initially harbors two orange stripes at the covert feathers.[5]

There is an extremely rare variant of this species in which all the orange in the plumage is replaced by white. A very rare British vagrant in 1982 was of this type, leading to speculation that whatever mutation causes the colour variation also affects the navigational abilities of this thrush. There has been only five recorded sightings since 1921.[6]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The varied thrush breeds in western North America from Alaska to northern California. It is migratory, with northern breeders moving south within or somewhat beyond the breeding range. Other populations may only move altitudinally. This species is an improbable transatlantic vagrant, but there is an accepted western European record in Great Britain in 1982.[citation needed]

Nests in Alaska, Yukon Territory, and mountains in British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon. Prefers moist conifer forest. Most common in dense, older conifer forests in high elevations. Moves to lower elevations during the winter where it is often seen in towns and orchards and thickets, or migrates to California. Seen in flocks during winter of up to 20 birds. well known for individual birds to fly eastward in winter, showing up in just about any state, then returning to the West coast for breeding.

Feeding[edit]

The varied thrush is predominantly insectivorous.

Breeding[edit]

The breeding habitat is dense coniferous forest, with two to five eggs being laid in a tree nest.

Gallery[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]