[CT Birds] Gray-cheeked Thrush Identification

streatham2003 at aol.com streatham2003 at aol.com
Sat May 19 17:48:08 EDT 2007

  Hi All,
 After a quick offline discussion I am interested in what anyone thinks about identification of these Gray-cheeked type Thrushes. I have read plenty on separating them from Bicknell's in the field (color of remiges, tail, Bicknell's warmer tone overall and color of bill base etc). It appears that Bicknell's and minimus minimus Gray-cheeked are not safely distinguishable but that minimus aliciae should be possible to separate with some safety given decent looks if what I am reading is right. 
 My gut feeling was that I had a very typical Gray-cheeked at WMF on Thursday and had good views down to a few dozen feet (dull gray coloration on back no difference between tail, remiges and overall coloration, almost all dark bill with pinkish base). Today we had at least 3 Gray-cheeked types in Central Park (NY) one bird displayed a tail and remiges that were significantly warmer than it's back coloration and a yellowish based bill, a second bird whose bill you could only describe as yellow with a back tip and only slight difference between remiges/tail color and back color (although the overall color was warmer than the bird Thursday). So my question is do people think that these birds are still only separable on voice (which to be honest seems to me as difficult as the plumage) or can we start to separate species on plumage/bare part coloration? Or do we forget it all and just go tick them on their breeding grounds? Interested in what people think. 
 Also out of interest do banders have records for both subspecies of Gray-cheeked in CT? Do we even have a definite Bicknell's (I remember being at Birdcraft when they tentatively ID'd a GC type Thrush as a Bicknell's).
 Luke Tiller
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