Varied Thrush

One of my favorite Winter visitors is the Varied Thrush.  I leave all the leaves in my beds mainly to attract them (and Towhees, and Juncos, and any other bird that needs bugs).  I began to worry that I wasn’t going to see any this year when I hadn’t seen one all the way through January, but we’ve had two regular visitors most of February.

They’re hard to get good shots of since they’re shy and will leave the yard immediately if you open the door and because they spend most of their time in the shade.  Still, if you’re patient enough and lucky enough, one will fly up to the nearest hydrangea instead of over the fence, like this female Varied Thrush.

Sometimes if they are foraging through the bed by the back fence they’re a little bolder, but then you have to crop the photo heavily.

Until I actually put all the shots up on my monitor I thought it was just a single thrush that was visiting us, the female showed above. I was wrong, though, as this is definitely a male Varied Thrush 

and so is this one.

It seems silly that such a little bird can bring some so much pleasure to an otherwise gray day, but whenever I see a Varied Thrush scratching through the leaves on the flower beds it makes me think that all the work we’ve put into transforming our grass into flower beds was more than worth the effort.

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