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Hey everyone,

 

I have a question for all of you experts out there.  I feel like I have a harder time with Swainson's/Gray-Cheeked Thrushes than I should.  I tend to first look for buffy coloring about the face; if there is buffy, it's Swainson's and if it's more bright whitish and gray, then Gray-Cheeked.  However, the more I see these thrushes in the field, I'm beginning to suspect that the amount of buffy on an individual is not a very reliable field mark.  Sorry to those who figured that out years ago; I guess I'm a little slow!  I know a lot of birders look for the eyering.  If the eyering really stands out and is bright, then is the bird Swainson's no matter if the eyering is white or buffy?  The converse would be a faint, or indistinct eyering would indicate a Gray-Cheeked?  Are the obvious pale lores a better, more reliable mark for Swainson's and not as obvious lores for Gray-Cheeked?  Any other suggestions to help with these two species?  

 

So yeah, as much as I would love to be an expert on everything bird, I can't claim to be.  Any input would be greatly appreciated.  You can either reply to me or to the list serves so we may all learn.

 

Good birding,

 

John Thomton

Winter Park, Orange Co.    
 		 	   		  
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