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Swainson's Thrush Photos

Photography by Terry Sohl

My Favorite: Swainson's Thrushes do breed in the higher elevations of the Black Hills of South Dakota, but in the eastern part of the state where I live, they are migrants.  However, there's a period of the year where they can be one of the most common birds you'll find.  As you can see from the photos below, that period is evidently between May 10th and May 20th of every year!  During the spring migration, they're quite easy to find along woodland edges with grassy open areas adjacent. They'll forage in the grass right along the forest edge, flitting back into cover when disturbed. My favorite photo is the one below, from May 17th, 2011, showing a Swainson's Thrush striking a pose in sumac along the river at the Big Sioux Recreation Area in Brandon, South Dakota.

Swainson's Thrush - Catharus ustulatus

Swainson's Thrush - Catharus ustulatus Swainson's Thrush - Catharus ustulatus Swainson's Thrush - Catharus ustulatus Swainson's Thrush - Catharus ustulatus

Swainson's Thrush 1

May 13th, 2005

Minnehaha County, South Dakota

Swainson's Thrush 2

May 13th, 2006

Outdoor Campus, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Swainson's Thrush 3

May 13th, 2005

Minnehaha County, South Dakota

Swainson's Thrush 4

May 15th, 2005

Outdoor Campus, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Swainson's Thrush - Catharus ustulatus

Swainson's Thrush - Catharus ustulatus

Swainson's Thrush - Catharus ustulatus

Swainson's Thrush - Catharus ustulatus

Swainson's Thrush 5

May 13th, 2005

Minnehaha County, South Dakota

Swainson's Thrush 6

May 13th, 2006

Outdoor Campus, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Swainson's Thrush 7

May 20th, 2008

Big Sioux Recreation Area, South Dakota

Swainson's Thrush 8

May 17th, 2011

Big Sioux Recreation Area, South Dakota

Swainson's Thrush - Catharus ustulatus

Swainson's Thrush - Catharus ustulatus

Swainson's Thrush - Catharus ustulatus

Swainson's Thrush - Catharus ustulatus

Swainson's Thrush 9

May 10th, 2011

Big Sioux Recreation Area, South Dakota

Swainson's Thrush 10

May 10th, 2011

Big Sioux Recreation Area, South Dakota

Swainson's Thrush 11

May 10th, 2011

Big Sioux Recreation Area, South Dakota

Swainson's Thrush 12

May 17th, 2011

Big Sioux Recreation Area, South Dakota

Swainson's Thrush - Catharus ustulatus

Swainson's Thrush - Catharus ustulatus

Swainson's Thrush - Catharus ustulatus

Swainson's Thrush - Catharus ustulatus

Swainson's Thrush 13

May 17th, 2011

Big Sioux Recreation Area, South Dakota

Swainson's Thrush 14

May 17th, 2011

Big Sioux Recreation Area, South Dakota

Swainson's Thrush 15

May 17th, 2011

Big Sioux Recreation Area, South Dakota

Swainson's Thrush 16

May 11th, 2018

Big Sioux Recreation Area, South Dakota

Click here for the species description page for the Swainson's Thrush


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Please mail any comments/suggestions/additional links for this page to: Terry L. Sohl