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Thrush, southern Quebec (1 Viewer)


Alain Deschamps
I was on a field trip with a group of birders at Montgomery bird sanctuary (on the US border, Eastern Townships, QC) last Sunday (May 28).

We were in a deciduous forest, consisting mainly of sugar maple. Under the dense canopy, the poor lighting made it impossible to take any good photos, so here's the best I could do unfortunatly.

The Wood Thrush, Hermit Thrush, and Veery are all common breeders at that location. We got to see all 3 last Sunday, and tellling them apart doesn't usually pose a problem. We also saw a couple of Swainson's thushes, a common breeder higher up on nearby montains that can be seen on migration throughout the area. The eye ring and uniformly dull olive back and tail make the identification pretty reliable.

And then we saw this bird, all grayish, with no visible eye ring. I told the the others that we were looking at a Gray cheeked Thrush, and every one accepted my verdict. But I still have my doubts. Other possibilities would include Bicnell's Thrush, very similar, but I think would have at least bit of brown or rufous in the plumage. The Bicknel's is a rare breeder at the top of some of the mountains in the region, while the Gray cheeked breeds in the taïga, very far up north

Can anyone help with ID ?


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