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Bicknell's Thrush

Catharus bicknelli ORDER: PASSERIFORMES FAMILY: TURDIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Vulnerable

Only recently considered a separate species from the Gray-cheeked Thrush, the Bicknell's Thrush has one of the most restricted breeding and wintering ranges of any North American bird.

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At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
6.3–6.7 in
16–17 cm
Weight
0.9–1.1 oz
26–30 g
Other Names
  • Grive de Bicknell (French)
  • Zorzal migratorio, Tordo de Bicknell (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • Bicknell's Thrush has an unusual mating system. Both males and females mate with different partners. Each nest has young from different males, and males may have young in several nests. More than one male feeds at most nests.
  • Males do not hold strict territories, and several different males may sing from the same area within one hour.

Habitat


Forest

  • Breeds in montane fir and spruce forests, usually associated with recently disturbed areas.
  • Winters in broadleaf montane forests.

Food


Insects

Insects and other arthropods, fruit.

Nesting

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
3–4 eggs
Egg Description
Bluish green with light brown speckling.
Condition at Hatching
Naked and helpless.
Nest Description

Open cup of twigs and moss in small tree.

Nest Placement

Shrub

Behavior


Ground Forager

Conservation

status via IUCN

Vulnerable

Population data are difficult to gather, but because of the small range and restricted habitat, it is considered a high conservation priority. Listed on the Audubon Watchlist

Credits

  • Rimmer, C. C., K. P. McFarland, W. G. Ellison, and J. E Goetz. Bicknell's Thrush (Catharus bicknelli). In The Birds of North America, No. 592 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.

Range Map Help

Bicknell
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Rats! A Menace for Bicknell's Thrushes: Story in BirdScope.

Mercury Rising: Story in Living Bird magazine.

All About Birds Blog, ID Workshop: Use 4 Basic Keys Plus Migration Timing to Sort Out Your Thrushes, April 2014.