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breeden
ursulav

Thrush-Bob is back!

I was staring out the window, looking at a Tufted Titmouse and thinking "Man...I guess Thrush-Bob isn't gonna come back this year..." and literally at that moment he landed on the birdbath and began splashing around.

This is his third year here. Hermit Thrushes do often display site fidelity, but the northern forests are big and life is tough for birds, so I am never sure if he'll make it back here. And of course, since he showed up on the back deck three years ago and began demanding mealworms (a behavior he trained into us, not the other way around--Hermit Thrushes are supposed to be shy and retiring!) he is now one of the crew.

I think we're basically the winter spa--fairly regular water when it's freezing, hot and cold running mealworms, and a sheltered corner of the deck. I always worry because there are feral cats about, but making it three years (or more--we have no idea how long he was showing up in the area before he learned that monkeys were a good source of mealworms) means Thrush-Bob is a tough and canny thrush.

More broadly, Hermit Thrushes are one of the few migratory songbirds whose numbers are rising. We are told that they are rare in backyards and don't come to feeders, but apparently Bob didn't get the memo, or "feeders" did not include "Kevin shuffling out at six in the morning muttering "'Blood and Mealworms for my lord Thrush-Bob...'"

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Psh, most thrushes are far too fancy to bother with normal feeders. Sleepy ambulatory bearers of mealworm tributes or bust!

I used to get Varied Thrush at my feeder all the time even though I read they weren't feeder birds.

I guess they didn't get the memo.

I also got a bunch of Spotted Towhee.


Edited at 2014-11-11 04:35 pm (UTC)

Why do I hear Kevin saying that in Reverend Mord's voice? But it seems that's something delegatable to the interns, or done by the interns on their own initiative.


Our own version of "thrush-Bob" has also returned! He/she "charp-charp-charps" in the morning and makes me smile. I thought of you. =)

Huh. He showed up on Nov. 11 last year too, right?

Thrushes raise their young elsewhere? Chances of Bob bringing his kids to the pool later on?

Ursula, you should know by now Mother Nature is not normal around you. You see the albatross your friend has spent buckets of money trying to see. You have lawn crawfish. You have Thrush-Bob, and those dragonflies that take 3-4 years to mature. YOU SAW WHALES IN ALASKA AND ENDED UP IN A BUBBLE NET!!

Clearly, your gardening has generated you much good karma and it is being repaid with demanding Hermit Thrushes showing up in November. And whales. And cool moths and lifer birds.

Re: You seem surprised.

Let us not forget the Carrion Grub.

(Deleted comment)

Re: I thought of Elton John's "The Bird Gets Back" but went with Aerosmith instead

*wild applause*

(not to be mistaken for that domesticated strain of applause, you see)

I quite enjoy reading your writing about nature and such. :)

So, if spring is heralded by the swallows returning to San Juan Capistrano, fall is heralded by Thrush-Bob returning to your deck?

Ah - that's the odd bird that showed up at my suet feeder last winter! Poor thing showed up right after the polar vortexes started roaring through central Virginia. Now at least I know what to feed him if he shows up again this year.

The triumphant return!

As a biologist, I can't help but want data on Thrush-Bob's reproductive success. I bet s/he is one fit bird, in the evolutionary sense of the word. Three years of successful migrations, a winter spent fattening up on only the finest mealworms, and enough gumption to go around.

Here's hoping for many more winters with Thrush-Bob.

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