There are a number of reasons why I decided to take on this project. My first reason has to do with my interest in birds. This began shortly after moving to Victoria ten and a half years ago. With our house backing onto a wooded area, the chirping of birds is a familiar sound all year long. I often glance out the window to see birds of all forms in the yard throughout the day. Frequently I will pull out the Birds of Victoria or Birds of North America reference guides we have on hand. Unfortunately, the drawings in the first aren’t overly helpful for identification and the number of entries in the second is overwhelming. My second reason has to do with a photography course I took a number of years ago. Since that time I have been trying to think of a practical reason to buy a new camera. Taking pictures of birds requires a powerful zoom lens which my previous point-and-shoot camera could not accommodate. Perfect! My final reason was my desire to take on a new project to welcome in 2011. Hence, bird of the day was born.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Varied Thrush

Ixoreus naevius

Large thrush (robin size)
Dark gray upperparts
Orange throat, breast and eyebrows
Black chest band
Orange wing markings
White belly and undertail

Listen to its call.

There are frequently varied thrush in our yard, although never more than one at a time. Whether it is always the same one or not is hard to say. Maybe they're just solitary birds. They certain try to avoid my company. It's taken me ages to get a decent picture of one. I usually see this bird foraging around among the dead leaves or in the garden, where it somehow manages to blend in with its surroundings. It's rather jittery and constantly in motion. So, I was quite pleased yesterday when I managed to take a picture of one in focus. The photo below is a bit blurry, as it was taken on one of my first days with the new camera. Incidentally, I want to let my neighbours know that I've stopped taking pictures like this through your fence.

Learn more about Varied Thrush.       


  1. We just moved to Olympia and had never seen a varied thrush before. I was surprised when you said you only have one, we have at least 5-6 on the ground at the same time. We had sunflower seeds out after the snow storm went through, they arrived and have not left since. Spotted towhees arrived as well but seem to have moved on. 3-4 red shafted flickers on the suet every morning.

  2. Hi! Down here in San Francisco! These birds started showing up about 2-3 years ago, mixing in with the robins in our back yard. There are three of them there right now, picking among the leaves and such under the bushes. Stunning designs! Thanks so much for this website - I just googled "brown orange speckled banded robin-size bird" and then looked at the pictures until i saw the one for this site. Mary Burns

  3. Comox on Vancouver Island, saw one this morning while having coffee outside. It was quite close on a bush beside the deck. Beautiful bird!

  4. I just spotted one this morning on my property in Saanich, Victoria. I gad never seen one until today. Like your experience, just a single bird.

  5. Thank you for identifying this bird for me. I live in Sicamous, BC. I have never seen this bird on the property before today. It was flipping leaves over under my magnolia tree.