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Seen flipping over leaves on Bob Jones Trail in San Luis Obispo county, California today. I think it is a Swainson's but is a new bird. Did not call or sing. Seems to me to be duller than Hermit thrush with more spotting on underbelly and not as bright cinnamon color tail. Thanks.

DSCN1811 Swainson's thrush?.JPG

DSCN1813 eyering.JPG

DSCN1818 Tail.JPG

DSCN1821 Spotted underparts.JPG

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Notice the stout conical bill typical of seedeaters, and the fact that it is eating seeds. Thrushes eat insects and sometimes berries this time of year. Also note that Swainson's Thrush is not around this time of year - Hermit Thrush is the only possible thrush (well bluebirds and robins and maybe even a townsend's solitaire too).

Sparrows and thrushes are superficially somewhat similar in terms of plumage, both being often brownish above and pale below with spots or streaks. However, there are clear and fundamental differences in shape and behavior - these families are not closely related (other than that they are both oscine passerines) and as a result the birds are pretty different and fairly easy to tell apart with practice.

Edited by AlexHenry
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