Nature Notes

Vol. VIII July 15th, 1930 No. 8

sketch of Thrush Thrushes

Thrushes are shy, solitary and mostly ground-haunting birds and fit naturally into the habitat of the deep solitary forest regions of the lower areas about the mountain.

The Varied Thrush is the most common thrush of the deep silent woods trails. His range is from the park entrance to the tree clumps of the high mountain meadows. The haunting, soothing thrill of the thrush is most pleasant to hear and lingers long in one's memories of mountain trails. The dreamy echoing note, although somewhat metallic at times, does not disturb the calm serenity of the forest.

"Singing in the Rain", seems to be very popular with man just now, but with the thrushes, the Varied in particular, it is a customary habit, a part of his lineage. On clear sunny days he gives little evidence of his presence along the woodland trial. His voice is silent except in early morning or evening twilight, but if the day be cloudy or rainy his voice is heard on every side and if you look carefully you will see him. His curiosity often overcomes his timidity and you will see him peering from some woodland cover.

Another thrush often heard but seldom seen is the Russet-Back Thrush. Every evening about the Longmire camp grounds the beautiful songs of the Russet-Back may be heard. The song is not a single trill as in the Varied, but is much longer continued and is very pleasing to hear. This thrush is even more secretive than the Varied. Almost invariably when you attempt to approach the cover from which the voice everges he becomes mute and you are lucky if you ever get to see him.

In the deep woods, especially about the swamps and streams you will hear his voice, but eventide is his favorite time for song.

The Sierra Hermit Thrush is another shy denizen of the forest very difficult to distinguish from the Russet-Back, but more widely distributed over the Park.

The Western Robin is another thrush quite common about the Park. Robin in the park is no different from Robin elsewhere. He looks most like the Varied Thrush, but is very different from the other Thrushes in his habits. He has one habit in common with them. He loves the rains and sings best in spring showers. The Robin, however, is not shy, prefers to be near civilization, builds his nest in the open, and is friendly to man. He quite common about Longmire and one year built his next on a beam over the door of the entrance of the information booth at Longmire.

Chas. Landes

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