Swainson’s Thrush

Swainson’s Thrush, Catharus ustulatus

One of the things I most look forward to each spring is the arrival of the year’s first Swainson’s thrush. They announce their presence through, first, their calls, then a bit later the males will start to sing: usually in the late dusk, long after most other birds have gone to roost for the evening. They are shy and secretive birds that prefer dense thickets of deciduous brush and mature trees. We are fortunate to have them in our yard, and it seems the past couple of years there are more of them.

Once you learn the clear whistling “whit” of their calls, and the entrancing flutelike song, you’ll never forget them.

Swainson’s Thrush, call

Swainson’s Thrush, song

Photo by Matt Reinbold // CC licensed // Recordings by Tayler Brooks


2 thoughts on “Swainson’s Thrush

  1. Ron Peevey says:

    Every time I think I’ve given up birding forever, Curvirostra comes along with something like this, the enchanting Swainson’s Thrush. After listening to the delightful audio, I realized that I hear those soul-stirring sounds again and again and now I’m reminded once again of their shy, secretive source. Thanks again, Adrienne. I love you completely.

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