Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Dark (ish) Male American Robin (ish)

I always enjoy seeing migrant flocks of robins in the spring. Typically there are some really sharp looking males in the bunch - contrasting plumage with rich colour. Recently though, this male caught my eye. Overall it was quite dark!

I actually had my point-and-shoot camera in my hand, so I decided to snap some photos. I made sure I got a few of the back, given that "atlantic" birds are typically described as being darker (Black-backed subspecies or something?!)

Not that I actually thought I was dealing with anything too funky - but it did strike me as odd. I can only imagine that we (as birders) often see common species from the "wrong" area - (eg,/ an "overshoot" Chipping Sparrow that typically hangs out in Ohio that ends up at Pelee this May - we'd never know the difference). 

Could that be the case with this fella? Who knows! Sibley has a post online talking about how it is likely little more than variation - that is more common in the NE:

As per usual, different light/camera angles tended to change the appearance at times, but overall I was confident that this wasn't a "run of the mill" bird, even if he's a local... The throat was quite dark, and the few times I saw it fly - there was little white in the tail. 

Just a little fun! Only 3 weeks until the reallly crazy vagrants are around (if not sooner!) Thursday and Sunday will be our first blasts of SW winds. Maybe something like an Avocet will be found? 

1 comment:

  1. Neat looking American Robin. Def. a candidate for T. m. nigrideus - good eye. I had a richly marked male robin visit our backyard bird bath this aft. Blackish hood, all-dark throat, rich coloration all-round. I didn't get a pic of it - hopefully tomorrow. Anyhow - I was intrigued enough by it to launch a bit of a online search binge, and came across your blog entry. See also Bruce Mactavish's post on Newfoundland AMRO's (just came across it a few min ago): Good birding.