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Birds of Yosemite National Park (1954, 1963) by Cyril A. Stebbins and Robert C. Stebbins


THRUSHES: Family Turdidae

ROBIN
ROBIN
ROBIN (Turdus migratorius): 8 1/2-10 1/2 in. Back gray; head and tail blackish; below reddish-brown, “red-breast”; throat white, streaked with blackish; eyelids and spots in front of eye white; bill yellowish. Female: Breast, head, and tail colors paler. Immature; Under parts and back speckled, suggesting the relationship to the thrush family. Nest bulky, of grasses, twigs, pine needles, weed stems, etc., well plastered with mud.

Frequents meadows, stream borders, and lawns where there are scattered trees. Common S. V. in the Transition life zone but also in the Canadian and Hudsonian life zones. Common at lower levels in winter. Abundant in Yosemite Valley where it nests. May be sparsely present there in winter but more common at lower elevations.


VARIED THRUSH
VARIED THRUSH
VARIED THRUSH (Ixoreus naevius): 9-10 in. Resembles robin; above dark slate; head darker; orange stripe over and extending behind eye; orange-brown bars and patch in dusky wing; black collar on orange breast. Female: Breast band duller. Immature: Collar incomplete or absent; breast speckled.

Frequents dense growth of conifers oaks, or high chaparral, often in canyons. Prefers shaded locations. In the Transition and Canadian zones in summer and ranges into the Upper Sonoran zone in winter. W. V. to the western slope of the Yosemite region below the level of the heavy snows. Occurs in Yosemite Valley.


HERMIT THRUSH
HERMIT THRUSH
HERMIT THRUSH (Hylocichla guttata): 6 1/2-7 1/2 in. Above soft brown; tail reddish-brown, which it raises slowly on alighting or depresses and raises often when at rest; below whitish; throat and breast dotted with blackish-brown. A timid, trim bird with slender legs and beak. Stands rather high from the ground in contrast to the squat-like position of the fox sparrow to which it bears some resemblance. Often jerks its wings nervously. Call in breeding season clear and flute-like; pause between each of 3 or 4 notes on different pitch levels.

Frequents chiefly dense well-shaded forests where the ground is leaf-littered but largely unobstructed by close growth of bushes. S. V. in the Sierra chiefly in the Transition and Canadian life zones, but also in the lower Hudsonian life zone. W. V. below the level of heavy snows. Occasionally nests on the floor of Yosemite Valley but more common at higher elevations as at Mariposa Grove, Glacier Point, and Tuolumne Meadows.


WESTERN BLUEBIRD
WESTERN BLUEBIRD
WESTERN BLUEBIRD (Sialia mexicana): 6 1/2-7 in. Above dark blue except sometimes for rust area in middle of back; breast rusty grading into gray on belly; tail slightly forked. Female: Above gray or brownish, tinged with blue; wings blue, with light bars; breast faintly rusty. Nests in abandoned woodpecker holes or other cavities. Feeds on mistletoe and other berries and on insects.

Frequents broken well-spaced timber, open woodland, or brushland. When breeding found chiefly in the Upper Sonoran and Transition life zones but enters adjacent zones. Spreads to lowlands in winter. Likely to be seen at any time of the year in the western foothills in the Yosemite region. In fall seen at higher altitudes as in Yosemite Valley and in higher locations.

MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD (Sialia currucoides): 6 1/2-7 3/4 in. Almost entirely blue, lighter below, grading to whitish on belly; tail forked. Female: Soft gray-brown above, tinged with blue; rump, tail, and wings bluish.

Frequents chiefly open terrain of short grass or turf where rocks, scattered bushes, or small trees provide perches. In the Sierra, S. V. in high Transition to the Hudsonian life zone, especially the latter. Of irregular occurrence in the lowlands in winter. In Yosemite region, frequent in high Sierra, occasional in Yosemite Valley.

TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE
TOWNSEND’S SOLITAIRE
TOWNSEND’S SOLITAIRE (Myadestes townsendi): 8-9 1/2 in. Above dull gray; lighter below; wings and tail darker than rest of upper parts; edge and tip of outer tail feathers white; white eye-ring. In flight, one sees white in tail and narrow buffy bar in wing. Nests on or near the ground in a hollow at the base of a tree, stump, cliff, or elsewhere.

Frequents mountain slopes where at least partly forested, often with pine or fir. Of irregular occurrence in the lowlands in winter. In the Sierra S. V. or R. in the high Transition to the Hudsonian life zone. In Yosemite Valley occasionally seen in winter and may nest there in spring.

SWAINSON’S THRUSH (Hylocichla ustulata): 6 1/2-7 1/2 in. Above gray or olive-brown; wings and tail somewhat darker; no rust in tail; belly white; sides tinged with brown; upper breast light buff spotted with wedge-shaped marks; eye-ring and cheeks buffy.

Frequents willows, aspens, alders, and other dense growth along streams and about damp meadows. Enters the damp understory vegetation of dense forests. Chiefly in the Upper Sonoran, Transition, and Canadian life zones. Common S. V. largely throughout, west of the desert divides. Widespread M. S. V. chiefly in the Transition zone in the Yosemite region. Has nested in Yosemite Valley; often seen near Mirror Lake.



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Online Library: Title Author California Geology History Indians Muir Mountaineering Nature Management

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