Sunday, June 5, 2016

Bicknell's Thrush does not exist

Had this wee little Thrush at Lighthouse Point near the end of my Pelee Island trip. Clearly a Gray-cheeked Thrush - but it really was a tiny little bugger... Of course this reminded me of Bicknell's Thrush - but as far as I'm concerned - it's not really a "good" species to identify...

Which bugs me... Do you know why? 

Because I want to identify everything I see - and no matter how many times I read up on BITH vs. GCTH (including some recent voting on the OBRC) - I get NOWHERE. We barely learned of a method for separating HERMIT Thrush from BITH... Never mind Gray-cheeked... 

So there you have it. My little "Gray-cheeked" Thrush with some rufous tail-markings... zzzzz...
I can't help but think of the select few birders who are excited about identifying all obvious markings/plumages/subspecies - rather than just a species level identification (eg,/ Birder X enjoys looking for "Oregon" Junco - even if it's not considered a species) - Whereas Bicknell's Thrush enjoys full species status, and seems to be a dead end on possible identification... 
Recently there was a "European/Siberian" Whimbrel in Michigan - and I couldn't help but chuckle. People freaking LOVE Whimbrel to begin with - and here's this MEGA rare Eurasian variety flying around ---- with a host of distinctive markings --- and you hardly hear a peep! 

Anyways, that's enough... This little bit of a reddish tail makes me wonder if it's the "Newfoundland" subspecies.. Ugh. 


  1. The Newfoundland sub-species is near extinction so luckily we won't have to worry about that one in the near future :p

    1. oh ya? I had heard they were declining, but had no idea it was that bad :|

  2. I hadn't heard that their numbers were that low. Too bad. Thanks for posting, Brandon.

  3. Hopefully Bicknell will just be lumped with Gray Cheek.

  4. I missed that Whimbrel by a day with my group!