Larry Arnold <larnold47@...>
From my thrush correspondent in Eugene..
I am wondering whether this is unusual or typical of Varied Thrushes. On 11/30/13 the first Varied Thrush showed up in my yard granting my wish for a VATH as a yard bird for the winter season. Over the following week it was joined by 3 more. During the snow storm and cold snap of the second week of December the number of VATHs kept growing until there were about 20.
I thought that after the storm passed they would disperse, but almost two months later, they are still here. I am having a great time watching them, listening to them, and learning some of their behavior. One surprise to me is that they chow down on peanuts. I checked BNA (Birds of North America) and read that they eat acorns during winter, so perhaps peanuts are an acorn substitute. They watch me from the trees as I broadcast peanuts on the ground for them, as if I were feeding chickens. As I move slowly away they start fluttering down to the ground for the peanuts. They must be used to me for they seem to accept me. They will use the platform feeder to get peanuts too.
There has been a Hermit Thrush about since the storm too. Once in a while American Robins visit the yard. On those days I celebrate a Three Thrush Day.
Here are a few photos of them that show the variety of plumages.
I will miss them when they leave.