The Swainson’s Thrush, (Catharus osculates), is a medium-sized thrush.
There are four recognized subspecies of Swainson’s Thrush. Their breeding habitat is coniferous woods with dense undergrowth across Canada, Alaska and the northern United States, also deciduous wooded areas on the Pacific coast of North America.
These birds migrate to southern Mexico and as far south as Argentina.
The coastal subspecies migrate down the Pacific coast of North America and winter from Mexico to Costa Rica, whereas the continental birds migrate eastwards within North America (a substantial detour) and then travel southwards via Florida to winter from Panama to Bolivia.
This species is 16-18 cm in length, and has the white-dark-white
underwing pattern characteristic of Catharus thrushes. Adults are brown on the upperside. The undersides are white with brown on the flanks; the breast is lighter brown with darker spots. They have pink legs and a light brown eye ring. Birds in the east are more olive-brown on the upper body; western birds are more reddish-brown.
They make a cup nest on a horizontal tree branch. They forage on the forest floor and also in trees. They mainly eat insects, fruits and berries.
This bird’s song is a hurried series of flute-like tones spiraling upwards.
They may be displaced by the Hermit Thrush where their ranges overlap.
Swainson’s Thrush was named after William Swainson, an English ornithologist.