Bicknell’s Thrush is a small, migratory songbird that belongs to the family of Turdidae, which includes thrushes and robins. It is named after Eugene P. Bicknell, an American ornithologist who discovered this species in 1881.
This bird measures about 6-7 inches long with a wingspan of up to 11 inches. The males have brownish-gray upperparts and contrasting black spots on their throats while the females are slightly duller in coloration. They have white eyerings that accentuate their big eyes and pale underparts with dark spotting.
Where To Find This Bird
Bicknell’s Thrush breeds only in high elevation forests of northeast North America from Quebec to Maine during summer months from May to August. During winter time, they migrate down to Hispaniola Islands (Dominican Republic & Haiti) where they reside in mountainous forests for the rest of the year.
This species prefers spruce-fir forest habitats above elevations of around 3000 feet as it offers them dense conifer foliage for nesting sites and insects for food sources. They are also found inhabiting mixed deciduous-coniferous forests at lower altitudes within its breeding range.
Bicknell’s Thrush feeds mainly on insects such as caterpillars, moths, beetles, flies and spiders but will also eat berries when available during migration periods or wintering grounds on Hispaniola Island.
The Bicknell’s Thrush has a special adaptation called “migratory connectivity” which refers to how specific populations breed together in certain areas before migrating together each fall along specific routes towards common wintering grounds.
They are threatened by climate change since rising temperatures reduce suitable breeding habitat within their range.
It has been estimated there may be less than 125k birds left due to declining numbers.
Tall trees help the birds reproduce by providing shelter for nests, but deforestation of their breeding habitats such as logging or mining on mountainsides poses threats to their survival.
In conclusion, Bicknell’s Thrush is a unique bird that has adapted to living in high-altitude environments. While they may be small and unassuming, they are incredibly important to the ecosystems in which they live. It is crucially important that we take steps to protect this species and its habitat for future generations to enjoy.