Sisters Country birds


Last updated 1/16/2024 at 10:38am

Photo by Douglas Beall

Varied Thrush.

Visiting the Cascade forests in late fall and winter, the fluted notes of the Varied Thrush [zoreus naevius] can often be heard echoing through the forests and canyons.

The elegant orange of the Varied Thrush can be seen throughout winter and are definitely a western bird. Their breeding range extends as far north as Alaska and western Canada to the forests of Oregon and Washington. They winter down the coast of California coast to Baja.

The varied Thrush was first identified by naturalists on Captain Cook's third voyage in 1778 at Nootka Sound on Vancouver Island.

Closely related to the Robin, they also can be seen on lawns and roadsides foraging for seeds, berries and grubs. The Varied Thrush breeds mostly in Canada and Alaska, males arriving first to sing and claim their territories. Then build their nests with spruce, fir and hemlock twigs, which are then lined with moss, fine grasses and dead leaves.

The nest is normally located in a conifer about 10 feet high, and contains one to six blue-with-brown speckled eggs. Hatching in 10-14 days, the young are fed worms and insects until they leave the nest in 13-15 days. They will often raise two broods.

When Varied Thrushes gather they are referred to as a "mutation" or a "hermitage" of thrushes. To view more images of this thrush, visit


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