Julie Morgan found the bird. Other people who saw it from 9/17- 9/24 are: Danette Henderson, RL Rowland, Cheryl Huizinga, Jordan Ragsdale, Jason Talbot, Kathy Lopez, Mary Rumple, Heidi Ware, Bryce Robinson, Larry Arnold, Missy Arnold.
LOCALITY OF OBSERVATION
6292 W. Foggy Bottom Dr.
Boise, ID 83703
HABITAT WHERE THE BIRD WAS OBSERVED
Backyard. There are a lot of mature shrubs and trees in the yard.
SIGHTING DURATION, CONDITIONS, and EQUIPMENT USED
I observed the bird on many occasions. The first occasion on 9/17, I saw him in my large flowering quince bush. He came out into the sun and seemed to be eating the Virginia Creeper berries that were on a plant intertwined with the quince bush. It was about 60 degrees and calm winds. I saw the bird for about 5 minutes that time. He flew up higher in the bush and then into a large flowering pear tree nearby. That's when I saw his long, rufous, distinctive tail. I was not using any equipment.
DID YOU TAKE NOTES?
No, not at all
DID YOU CONSULT A FIELD GUIDE OR OTHER REFERENCE WORK?
Yes, later the same day
WHICH GUIDE(S) OR REFERENCE(S): DID YOU CONSULT?
Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America. First Edition. Published 2007.
IBird Pro App on my IPhone.
DESCRIPTION OF THE BIRD(s)
The Brown Thrasher belongs to the family of Mimids, per my Sibley guide.
Over the week, I have seen all of the body parts on several occasions. The streaked/spotty chest, the long, dark bill, the yellow eye with black pupil, the all rufous back from the head to the end of its very long tail. I was using my binoculars during all of these viewings.
BEHAVIOR OF THE BIRD(s)
The Brown Thrasher appears to be very stealthy. He hides deep in the dense shrubbery. I observed him feeding on the ground near a song sparrow and a white-crowned sparrow. He would be quick about his feeding and then return to the safety of the dense shrubs. He also was seen in a Pagoda Dogwood Tree eating the berries. A Robin was sometimes near him. Perhaps the Robin was trying to intimidate him. I'm not sure. I heard a "tchuk" vocalization a few times, but he was mostly silent when I was observing him.
HOW AND WHEN DID YOU POSITIVELY IDENTIFY THE BIRD, AND WHAT CLINCHED THE IDENTIFICATION FOR YOU?
By referencing the Sibly Field Guide to Western North American Birds and the IBird Pro App on my IPhone, I was able to identify the bird due to his tail length, all rufous back, long, dark bill, yellow eye and streaked chest. This was the only bird that fit all of those characteristics. Basically, he looked exactly like the photos I was seeing. I wasn't positive until Sept. 18th when I got looks at all angles with my binoculars as well as a video. I sent the video on to some expert birders and they verified my observation that it was a Brown Thrasher.
HOW DID YOU ELIMINATE SIMILAR SPECIES? WHAT WERE THEY?
I eliminated the Sage Thrasher because the coloring and size were off. I eliminated the Swainson's Thrush, Hermit Thrush and Wood Thrush because the size was off and the bill length was too short.
WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH THIS (AND SIMILAR) SPECIES?
I've seen a Sage Thrasher, and immediately upon seeing this bird I thought, "Thrasher." Then I worked on a specific ID.
DESCRIBE YOUR GENERAL BIRDING EXPERIENCE
I've been birding around 8 years or so.
My level of expertise.....Geez, I'm not sure how one rates that. If there is a 1-10 scale, perhaps I'm a 5.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION (If any)
I will email the photo taken by Kathy Lopez on 9/24. It’s very high quality. I’ll also email a video I shot. It’s not at all high quality, but I’m happy to share it.
WERE PHOTO(S), VIDEO, AND/OR AUDIO OBTAINED FROM THIS SIGHTING?
FIRST ROUND VOTING:
Photo is of a brown Thrasher.
well described and good photo
Beautiful diagnostic photo by Kathy Lopez, good written details including of the call. Good timing for a vagrant and presumably no provenance issues.
Diagnostic photo and alternatives considered
Good description from an obviously excited reporter – fun bird for her! Great, diagnostic photo confirms the identification.