An Abundance of Swainson’s Thrushes

Swainson’s Thrush, LaBagh Woods

Every migration season is different, and if one species dominates this fall migration in Chicago, it has been Swainson’s Thrushes – I have seen them everywhere, almost every day, and this has been going on the entire month of September.

In the forest preserves I have counted so many they have sometimes seemed to outnumber the Robins. The second most numerous species in the preserves has perhaps been Northern Waterthrushes. But I have seen Swainson’s even in downtown Chicago.

155 N. Wacker

It has gotten to the point where I have stopped taking pictures of the Swainson’s Thrushes because it’s unnecessary just to document their presence. But then every once in a while there have been models that were hard to resist.

Today at LaBagh Woods, the Robins and the Swainson’s Thrushes were foraging from rocky shoals in the Chicago River.

Thrushes in the Chicago River

4 thoughts on “An Abundance of Swainson’s Thrushes

  1. Thanks for sharing the pictures! Now I’m wondering what species are particularly prevalent this season in my neck of the woods. I’m noticing my same old friends at the feeders, nothing noteworthy. I should pay a little more attention.

    • Thanks for your comment! It’s a strange thing with birds… of a feather, they flock together. However, there’s always a possibility someone else is hanging out with those same old common guys. I took a picture yesterday of a Gray-Cheeked Thrush, which I initially took as a slightly different-looking Swainson’s. And there are some warblers, like Palm Warblers, that tend to forage on the ground like sparrows this time of year. Good luck!

  2. Thanks, Bob! We get Hermit Thrushes too, only later, and I think they’re just starting to show up. It’s too easy to get confused…so it’s time for me to start paying closer attention again.

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