[Tweeters] surprise "feeder bird" ...

Dennis Paulson dennispaulson at comcast.net
Mon Jan 7 13:16:16 PST 2013


Lyn,

Varied Thrushes are quite different from their relatives the robins. In my yard, they eat suet all the time. I have never seen one on the suet feeders, as they would have to hang like a woodpecker (although nonwoodpeckers such as starlings and jays and warblers do so) but they hop around beneath them to pick up what the woodpeckers and jays knock loose. There may be a Varied Thrush under the feeder looking up expectantly when a flicker is feeding.

They are also avid seed feeders, scarfing up millet from the ground just like the sparrows do, but they swallow the seeds whole rather than cracking them. Again, they don't get up on the seed feeders, but they also hang out beneath them to pick up what the other birds knock off.

They don't seem to run across the lawn to spot and pick up earthworms like robins do, although I have seen them capture worms by their distinctive feeding method. They use their bill to flip dead leaves and detritus up to look for invertebrates hiding below, somethings that robins don't seem to do. If I had to rename the bird, I would call it Ruddy-breasted Leaftosser or some other name reminiscent of tropical rain forests.

The one thing that both ruddy-breasted thrushes do is visit fruiting trees and shrubs. I've seen no difference in that feeding habit, and both have been together in the cotoneaster that is still fruiting in our yard.

Dennis
-----
Dennis Paulson
1724 NE 98 St.
Seattle, WA 98115
206-528-1382
dennispaulson at comcast.net


On Jan 7, 2013, at 12:00 PM, tweeters-request at mailman1.u.washington.edu wrote:


> Date: Sun, 06 Jan 2013 12:20:36 -0800

> From: Lyn Topinka <pointers at pacifier.com>

> Subject: [Tweeters] surprise "feeder bird" ...

> To: Tweeters at u.washington.edu

> Message-ID:

> <mailman.0.1357588819.2790.tweeters at mailman1.u.washington.edu>

> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"; format=flowed

>

>

> hi all ... had a real surprise at my feeder today ... looked out the

> window and there was a Varied Thrush standing on the suet block

> eating the suet !!! ... I didn't know they did that sort of thing ...

>

> Lyn

> Vancouver, Washington

>

>

>

>

> Lyn Topinka

> http://EnglishRiverWebsite.com

> http://ColumbiaRiverImages.com

> http://RidgefieldBirds.com


-----
Dennis Paulson
1724 NE 98 St.
Seattle, WA 98115
206-528-1382
dennispaulson at comcast.net



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