Except in winter, when it gathers in loose flocks to move to lower elevations, this shy bird prefers solitude. The intricate pattern of color on its wings resembles dappled sunlight on the forest floor. Naturalist Louis Agassiz Fuertes called the song of the Varied Thrush, "... as perfectly the voice of the cool, dark, peaceful solitude which the bird chooses for its home as could be imagined." Help the Varied Thrush by choosing forest-friendly lumber for your next building project!
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The Secretive Varied Thrush
By Chris Peterson
This is BirdNote!
[Song of Varied Thrush]
If you hear the eerie song of the Varied Thrush, you may be in a moist Pacific Northwest forest, in a quiet and private place. Naturalist and artist Louis Agassiz Fuertes, one the greatest painters of birds, called the song of the Varied Thrush, “… as perfectly the voice of the cool, dark, peaceful solitude ….as could be imagined.” [Repeat song with forest background]
At first glance, a Varied Thrush may appear to be a robin. Except in winter, when it gathers in loose flocks to move to lower elevations, this shy bird prefers solitude. The intricate pattern of color on its wings resembles dappled sunlight on the forest floor. And the male has a distinctive black band across his orange breast. Listen carefully to hear the overtones that turn the single sound of a Varied Thrush into a delicate minor chord. [Song with distinct overtones] (The recorded bird is an F-minor tone.)
Varied Thrushes are not often heard in the urban and suburban habitats of the Puget Sound region today because the lowland conifer forests cover less than 1% of their original area. [Song with distinct overtones]
For BirdNote, I’m Michael Stein.
Call of the Varied Thrush provided by The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Recorded by G.A. Keller.
Ambient sound of moist conifer forest provided by Kessler Productions.
BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson / Revised for 03.27.2016
© 2016 Tune In to Nature.org March 2018 / 2020 Narrator: Michael Stein
ID# VATH-01d-2016-03-27 VATH-01c