[Tweeters] Redwing this afternoon

Robert Sundstrom ixoreus at scattercreek.com
Tue Dec 21 18:11:21 PST 2004


The Redwing was seen again this afternoon in Olympia, along Rogers St. north of 4th Ave. There were about ten people studying the bird when I arrived around 3 p.m. and was directed the right area by Jason Paulios. Once again, the Redwing was with a small flock of American Robins. The flock, including the Redwing, dispersed westward around 3:15 p.m. I found what I believe was the same flock around 3:30, in or near a holly on the west side of Decatur St. between 4th and 5th Ave. (about four blocks from the previous spot). While I was watching, an immature Cooper's Hawk flew into the holly, frightening off the robins and a slightly smaller thrush, presumably the Redwing; they flew east.

The Redwing is a truly amazing rarity for the region, with virtually no records for the west coast of North America. Birds of the Western Palearctic notes that although Redwings breed well into eastern Siberia, they winter almost entirely in the western Palearctic, such that the easternmost breeders presumably travel 6500 km. WSW to wintering sites. Apparently at least one Redwing has come the wrong way, if one assumes this bird came from across the Pacific and not from Iceland, etc. Possibly good photos will help establish which of two subspecies the bird belongs to. Based on the views I had, I thought the tips of the tertials were quite well demarcated, suggesting a first winter bird.

Good luck finding this amazing bird, and many thanks to Gene Revelas for discovering it.


Bob Sundstrom
ixoreus at scattercreek.com
Tenino, WA

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