Birds – Alice’s Thrush

(Turdus alicioe)


Length—7.5 to 8 inches. About the size of the bluebird.

Male and Female—Upper parts uniform olive-brown. Eye-ring whitish. Cheeks gray; sides dull grayish white. Sides of the throat and breast pale cream-buff, speckled with arrow-shaped points on throat and with half-round dark-brown marks below.

Range—North America, from Labrador and Alaska to Central America.

Migrations—Late April or May. October. Chiefly seen in migrations, except at northern parts of its range.

One looks for a prettier bird than this least attractive of all the thrushes in one that bears such a suggestive name. Like the olive-backed thrush, from which it is almost impossible to tell it when both are alive and hopping about the shrubbery, its plumage above is a dull olive-brown that is more protective than pleasing.

Just as Wilson hopelessly confused the olive-backed thrush with the hermit, so has Alice’s thrush been confounded by later writers with the olive-backed, from which it differs chiefly in being a trifle larger, in having gray cheeks instead of buff, and in possessing a few faint streaks on the throat. Where it goes to make a home for its greenish-blue speckled eggs in some low bush at the northern end of its range, it bursts into song, but except in the nesting grounds its voice is never heard. Mr. Bradford Torrey, who heard it singing in the White Mountains, describes the song as like the thrush’s in quality, but differently accented: ” Wee-o-wee-o-tit-ti-wee-o I ”

In New England and New York this thrush is most often seen during its autumn migrations. As it starts up and perches upon a low branch before you, it appears to have longer legs and a broader, squarer tail than its congeners.