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January 2013


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linda whyte <[log in to unmask]>
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linda whyte <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 24 Jan 2013 15:45:32 -0700
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*Thanks goes out to Lisa Green and her family, for sharing the news of the
Varied Thrush frequenting her yard. She was extremely kind in helping us
have good, long looks at this bird, just as so many people out there have
been willing to help people see Spotted Towhees, Carolina Wrens, Snowy
Owls, etc. *
*I was struck by the similarity between the habitat provided there and
others where we've seen Varied Thrush in MN in other years. The yard offers
shelter in the form of oak trees, conifers, shrubs, and woodpile. There are
neighborhood homes with trees that have extant fruit, and the Greens have
heated birdbaths, and a large number of feeders offering a variety of
foods. *
*When we viewed the bird, it was making forays from low perches to the
ground, and foraging extensively in the leaf litter. It also appeared to be
soaking up the late afternoon sun, as it sat sheltered against the
woodpile. Doing a bit of preening there, it looked very much at
home---though the only time we've seen the species "at home" was in a
Glacier Na. Park valley, with a NW rain-forest micro-climate.*
*Thanks again, Lisa-- the following is dedicated to you, and all the
generous people of the birding community, scientists or artists, united in
appreciation of wildlife, for what it teaches and how it affects our lives
in a positive way: *

Winter Treasure: Varied Thrush, Minnesota

whatever possessed such a lovely bird
to come venturing thus, afar?
can it have any idea at all
that it has become a star?

likely it rode on a northwest wind,
luckily landing here,
in a habitat offering all that it needs
by hosts of generous good cheer

with plumage the colors of sunrise
casting shadows of slate blue-gray,
it offers to birders’ winter-worn eyes
a sight that brightens our day

(Linda Whyte)*

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