Meadow Mueller 07/2003 - 04/2015

Meadow Mueller 07/2003 - 04/2015

September 11, 2012

Raining Swainson's?

I spent the later part of this afternoon working in the yard. My dad and I built up a new shed and the back has been scattered with what I kept that was stored in the old one.  Around me I could hear many bird species coming in and out of the feeders and baths, hanging out in the trees around me. Grackles and Red-wings, Cardinals, Jays, Downy Woodpeckers, American Goldfinches, and even a Chickadee made a few appearances. I know all the regulars in the 'hood by sound alone nowadays. Its music to my hears and keeps me in tune with the wild world.

And speaking of sounds, I suddenly heard the sound (loud) of something hitting the roof of the shed. It hit the skylight right above me but I didn't see what it was at first. Even when I peered out the door, looked up and around, I still saw nothing. It was a short bit later when I went outside that I believe I found what had struck the shed... a bird. Right away I knew it was a species of Thrush but needed the guides to be certain. And with agreement from Angie and confirmation from an expert we know, it turned out to be a Swainson's Thrush.

I examined the bird and found no signs of trauma like my worst fear being that a cat had caught it. It was clean other than the ants were already going after it's eyes. Could it have struck the roof of the shed that hard and broken it's neck? I guess that is possible. But it really seemed like it fell from the sky or off a tree branch above. I didn't see what happened so I can only speculate.

I took photos of the bird only for ID purposes. 
As you can see, the bird is a mostly solid color across the wings and back of the body.  One of the clues given to it being this species of Thrush.
As always, Mother Nature does some beautiful work with the birds among us.
In 7 years of backyard birding, I have never seen a Thrush species here other than the American Robin.  And I thought we'd never see one.  I suppose anything is possible as even to this day, we still get new species surfacing (or being noticed), even if only for a day or two. This past Spring we had Golden Crowned Kinglets stopping over in our Pines during their migration.  Last year a Catbird came around one day and a pair of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks stayed with us for 12 days during a wicked weather spell in May. So why not a Swainson's Thrush?
I was going to bury the bird but after hearing from our expert friend, he's in the freezer now, bagged and awaiting some further examination when we meet up soon.  Perhaps he can give us a better idea on what happened.
It reminded me of one afternoon some years ago when a male Goldfinch dropped dead off the fence while I was outside. Alive one minute and dead the next; and he really was dead by the time he hit the ground.  Not much else to the story but here is the blog about that afternoon.

I guess if you are a bird and need a place to die, this here is the place to do it.

And for the curious friends from Facebook who know about the building adventure of this shed.  Here it is, just needs some finishing touches...

No comments: