On of my favourite Christmas presents this year was an adult male Varied Thrush that arrived in our front yard on Christmas Day, just as we were opening our gifts.
When it first flew across our front yard, I thought it was a robin, a bird it is closely related to. I saw a robin in the neighbourhood as recently as December 17. But the male Varied Thrush has unmistakable orange and black markings.
These beautiful birds are not too common in Calgary, with just a few reports every year on migration, and the occasional one overwintering here. This one appears to be trying to overwinter in our neighbourhood, as it has now been seen feeding in our yard for three straight days. This is the first time we’ve had one in our yard, and only the second one I’ve seen in Calgary. We didn’t have one reported on the recent Christmas Bird Count, so I wonder where this bird was then?
Here is a video of the Varied Thrush feeding on niger and sunflower seed.
Posted by Bob Lefebvre