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Catharus Thrush, SW Arizona (1 Viewer)

tom baxter

Well-known member
I am flip flopping back and forth over and over on this between Hermit or Swainson's. I have some experience with Catharus Thrushes in this region, and have known them to be daunting, with integrades of Hermit Thrush races possible. Hermit Thrushes are often very dull here and show no signs of rufous tails, primaries, etc. Usually Swainson's of this region have especially bold spectacles that contrast with dark crown features, unlike this bird. I think this is Swainson's because the expected population of Hermit Thrushes in this region are thin billed on average, making the bill look quite long, and this one does not meet that description. I am however, not confident in my conclusion. Both species are relatively expected migrants, although not often recorded along the Lower Colorado River where this bird was seen. I believe Hermit is somewhat more common, although it may not be enough of a difference to be a relevant consideration.
 

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Tough one, the lighting makes it hard to be confident in the colors we see. (Wings and tail seem to be ever-so-faintly contrasting, but not conclusively so.) But I don't see any buffiness at all to the face -- notice how nearly white the eye-ring is, in particular. So I'm inclined to say it's not a Swainson's. I don't know anything about bill shape, that's never been reliable for me anyway.
 
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