Thursday, November 22, 2018

American Robins in Julian

Without looking, describe the field marks of the head of an American Robin. This species is a common backyard bird throughout most of North America. But how well do you really know it?

What if a Rufous-backed Robin or Clay-colored Thrush showed up from Mexico? Would you immediately recognize an Asian stray such as Eyebrowed Thrush or Dusky Thrush? Would you pass off a European Redwing as just a juvenile American Robin?

Do you remember the shape of the eye ring? Bill color? Throat? Back color? Under tail coverts?

This is a reminder to really study the plumage, calls, and behaviors of common backyard birds. Then, when something rare shows up, you'll be prepared to recognize it and describe it so others can understand what you've seen.

What did you see?
An American Robin.
No, that's what you concluded. What did you see?

American Robin
American Robin
American Robin
American Robin

In San Diego County American Robins are patchily distributed. According to the San Diego Bird Atlas this bird started breeding regularly only in the 1940s. They breed in three habitats: mountains, orchards (avocado and citrus), and urban parks with shade trees and lawns (college campuses, etc.). They winter more widely, but are scarce some winters, abundant others.

American Robin
American Robin
American Robin
American Robin

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