[CT Birds] Cove Island Thrush ID- Bicknell's or Gray-cheeked

Kathy Van Der Aue kathyvda at gmail.com
Wed May 14 17:03:24 EDT 2014


I forwarded the photo to Chris Rimmer and here's his response:


"I showed this photo to two colleagues.  Two of us (me included) lean
towards BITH, while the other doesn't want to hazard a guess.  Basically, I
don't believe that any transient bird can be confidently ID'd on the basis
of a photo.  There are so many variables, such as lighting, that it's
dangerous to make a confident call.  I know some would disagree with that,
but I'm conservative by nature when it comes to bird ID.  I lean towards
BITH because of the bird's overall warm brownish cast, rather than the more
olivey-gray I associate with GCTH (I should emphasize I don't know that
species well...).  I can't really see the tail well enough to discern if it
has a slightly more rusty tone.  I'd like to see more yellowish-pink on the
lower mandible, especially towards the tip, but this character can vary.
If you just showed me that photo out of context and asked me what I thought
it was, I'd say BITH.  Ask me to make a definitive call, and I won't.

There are others who are far more schooled in the intricacies of songbird
ID and who know both species better than I do.  So, I'm taking the easy way
out and saying "I don't know"!  It's a beautiful photo though."


Kathy Van Der Aue
Southport, Connecticut
Visit my Blog at http://naturaliststable.wordpress.com



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