[CT Birds] Thoughts on Varied Thursh

Dennis Varza dennisvz at optonline.net
Wed Jan 6 07:06:24 EST 2010

Hi Folks

Yesterday there was a record of a Varied Thrush and it occurred to me  
that I haven't noticed any reports the past couple of years, when at  
one time I considered them nearly annual. So I decided to investigate.

Unfofrtunately my collection of records is weakest during the time  
frames 1960 to 1980 and 2000 to present. (been concentrating on the  
old stuff)

Looking at the records in general, when they arrive, they stay for  
several months, and often more than one bird seems to be in the  
state, making it difficult to distinguish between reports.

Zeranski and Baptist reported the first record as being February to  
March 1960 in Ridgefield. The Second in December 1960 to February  
1961 in Newtown and continue with 14 additional unspecified records

Adding what I have, the general pattern is as follows

1960 to 1969 2 records
1970 to 1979 2 records
1980 to 1989	4 (+ 8 unspecified of Zeranski and Baptist)
1990 to 1999	6 records
	1991 2 birds Goshen, West Goshen
	1994 2 birds Avon, Kilingworht
	1995 1 bird Norwalk
	1999 1 bird Hamden
2000 to 2009	I do not know of any records.

It seems like during the 80's Varied Thrushes were rather regular  
(hence my impression). But, in the past 10 years they have been  
absent or much less common. I have this theory that vagrancy is  
proportional to population size. so the decline in vagrancy may be a  
consequence of a decline out west.

I have found that when one commits to making a negative statement  
people come out of the woodwork providing positive examples. For  
example, during the years after Birds of Connecticut (1913) there was  
a flurry of records contrary to what was published.
So, bring on your Varied Thrush records!

Dennis Varza 

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