"We are nearer to Spring
Than we were in September,”
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December. by Oliver Herford
Well, the world didn't end yesterday - we survived the 2012 solstice and here's a cheerful thought from BirdNote to help balance out the gloom of these short, dark days.
We see and hear much more of the Varied Thrush in winter than at any other time of year. While this thrush is usually solitary bird, in winter it gathers in flocks in the Puget Sound lowlands. You may well hear its eerie, metallic song (and might not even recognize it as an avian voice) more than you actually see the bird.
BirdNote host Ellen Blackstone tells me that the Varied Thrush (don't you love that name? Varied how? Compared to what??) is related to bluebirds and Swainson's Thrushes and robins. You may spot it hanging out with robins, eating mushy apples from the ground.
The song of the Varied Thrush has been described as "cool, dark, and secretive." Hear its song and learn more about this somewhat elusive garden resident on BirdNote.
Thanks to Tom Grey for the photos, and to Ellen for keeping us updated on birds...if birds are out there enjoying the garden, surely there's hope for spring...
The male Varied Thrush (top photo) is more colorful than the more subtle female...