You've heard me mention that the month(s) between winter and real spring are my least favorite of the year, with everything brown and gray. But today, I'm going out of my way to show you brown and gray, and not even great pictures, at that.
Brown first: this is a regular yearly visitor to my yard, the brown thrasher, Toxostoma rufum. The local bird guru lists it as an occasional visitor to the county, but I'm trying to convince him that I see them almost every year.
The brown thrasher is one of my personal favorites. It usually stays near the ground, fluttering from bush to bush, or walking across the lawn. They seem to particularly like the wooded cemetery. It's a little larger than a robin, with a much longer tail.
It was windy this morning- hence the ruffled feathers. You can also see its yellow eye.
The gray half of this duo showed up later in the morning back by the railroad tracks. I knew in an instant that it wasn't a regular visitor, and I zapped the pics off to Dave Dister, that bird guru I mentioned. I thought maybe it was a mockingbird.
He answered me that it's a cuckoo, an uncommon visitor here. There are two possible kinds, but in the second picture you can see the red eye ring, which identifies it as the black-billed cuckoo Coccyzus erythropthalmus.
I've seen cuckoos in the south, but never here, and I think the ones I've seen were yellow-billed cuckoos. I didn't even think of it as a possibility. I'll keep my eyes open and see if I can spot it again.
|See Brown Thrasher in My Yard|