White-throated Thrush
Turdus assimilis
The White-throated Thrush (Turdus assimilis) occurs in the mountains of Mexico within 250 miles of Brownsville, Texas. Until recently, this species had the common name of White-throated Robin. In its normal range and habitat it is a fairly common species and not difficult to find. When one was discovered in Laguna Vista, Cameron Co. Texas on 18 February 1990, however, it represented the first documented record for the United States. The bird was coming to a residential feeder where it fed on clusters of grapes that had been offered to the birds. Numerous Long-billed Thrashers, Golden-fronted Woodpeckers, and several Clay-colored Thrushes also made a feast of these grapes. The sight of a White-throated Thrush in a mesquite tree, on the right, was certainly odd, since the species is normally found in montane forest. The bird remained in the area until 25 February 1990. These two photos were taken on 22 February with a Canon T-90 & FD 400 mm F4.5 lens with a 1.4X extender mounted on a tripod with Kodachrome 64 film with available light. I coauthored a paper on this record which was published in American Birds 45:230-231. The next time this species occurred in the U.S. was in February, 1998.
This is another shot of the 1990 White-throated Thrush. The bill of the bird is caked with dirt from probing on the ground for food.