Bird enthusiasts here are aflutter over a Eurasian thrush, apparently the first of its kind to be seen on the continent. Eugene Revelas, 45, posted a report Monday night on a regional...
OLYMPIA — Bird enthusiasts here are aflutter over a Eurasian thrush, apparently the first of its kind to be seen on the continent.
Eugene Revelas, 45, posted a report Monday night on a regional bird-watching Web site after he recognized a bird he saw with some robins in his back yard as a redwing, or Turdus iliacus, which he had spotted on a trip to Ireland in April.
Bill Tweit, a leading South Puget Sound birder and member of the Black Hills Audubon Society, confirmed the sighting Tuesday morning, again in a flock of robins, at a nearby intersection in the city’s west end.
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By that afternoon, 20 bird-watchers had gathered for a look at the bird, which is slightly smaller than a robin, sleeker than a varied thrush and marked by a creamy-white eye stripe and rusty red flanks and underwings.
It’s the only documented sighting in North America of a redwing, which “could be mistaken for a funny-looking baby robin,” Tweit said.
Nomadic and gregarious, the redwing issues a “seep” call with a weak song of three or four fluty notes, feeds on worms and berries and has a maximum life expectancy of about 18 years, breeding across Northern Europe to Siberia and usually wintering in Southern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.