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Exploring the West from Monticello: Home

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Common Name:
Swainson's Thrush Picture of Swainson's Thrush
Scientific Name: Catharus ustulatus
Length: (inches)
Wing Span: (inches) 13" Click Here to listen to a Swainson's Thrush
Wet cool wetlands, thickets and swamps.
Identification: Both the male and female are slender song bird. Olive-brown above, white belly, pale olive-brown flanks, dark spotting on buff breast, buff eye ring.
Migration: They are fairly common in the summer, usually arriving in the Pacific Northwest from the middle of May to June. They head south in late summer for Mexico and South America.
Feeding /Nesting:

The Swainson's Thrush feeds on the ground and in foliage, and eats a variety of insects, spiders, and berries. Their nests are located from 2-40 ft. above the ground on horizontal branches. The nest is made of twigs, bark, moss, grass, plant fibers, lichens and skeletonized leaves. The female lays 3-5 eggs, light blue with brown spots and about 0.8 inches long. Incubation takes 11-14 days and the young fledge in another 10-14 days.

Similar Species:
All of the Catharus thrushes are very similar, mainly different by range and song.
Common Name:
Three-Toed Woodpecker Picture of a Three-Toed Woodpecker
Scientific Name: Picoides tridactylus
Length (inches):
Wing Span:  
Coniferous forests, burned over pines. Click Here to listen to a Three-Toed Woodpecker
A medium size, stocky woodpecker with short bill. Black head with white face stripes, black and white barred back, barred flanks. The male has a yellow cap and plain black back.
Similar Species:
Common Name:
Canada Goose
Picture of Canada Geese
Scientific Name: Branta canadensis
Length (inches):
Wing Span:   Click Here to listen to a Canada Goose
Lakes, ponds, marshes, grassland, open farmland.
Medium waterfowl. Blackhead and heck, white "chin strap", and bark black, white undertails coverts. In flight, show dark wings and white u shaped rump band.
Similar Species:
Smaller birds can be mistaken for the Brant, but the Canada Goose black neck stops above the chest and has a broad white "chine strap".
Common Name:
Barn Swallow Picture of a Barn Swallow
Scientific Name: Hirundro rustica
Length (inches):
Wing Span:  
Rural buildings, culverts, and bridges. Click here to listen to a Barn Swallow
A largish swallow with long, slender, pointed windows and long deeply forked tail. Blue and black above, pale cinnamon or buffy white below, chestnut-red throat and forehead, with white spots under the tail.
Similar Species:
Common Name:
Chestnut-Backed Chickadee Picture of a Chestnut-Backed Chickadee
Scientific Name: Parus rufescens
Length (inches):
Wing Span:  
can be found in coniferous forests and mixed woods in a narrow range along the Pacific coast from SE Alaska to central California. The only inland population occurs in SE British Columbia and NW Montana. Click Here to listen to a Chestnut-Backed Chickadee
Feeding /Nesting:
They acrobatically cling to branches, searching for insects and seeds. They readily come to feeders for sunflower seeds and suet. Its nest is made of moss, hair, feathers and downy material, and is placed in a natural or excavated cavity, or a birdhouse. The male does courtship feeding of the female. The female does all of the incubation. There are 6-7 white eggs with light reddish speckles. The young break out in 11-12 days and then fledge 13-17 days later. Some birds have two broods in one season.
A small short tailed woodland bird with large head. Chestnut-brown flanks and back, whitish beneath, black throat patch and sooty-brown cap, and white cheeks.
Similar Species:

Research Sources:

East Lake Washington Audubon Society
USGS Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter




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