Birds of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance
Varied Thrush - Ixoreus naevius
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General Comments This Far Western thrush was an embarrassing "miss" or "hole" on the North Carolina bird list for many decades, when the Varied Thrush was being seen frequently across much of the eastern United States in winter, especially at bird feeders. Though there were several reports prior to 2000, none of these passed the NC BRC. It was not until five years into the 21st Century when the first state record occurred, and that was (sadly) just a sight report, putting the species on the Provisional List. North Carolina must have been one of the last of the 50 states to have had a documented record, and surprisingly three were documented (i.e., photographed) across the state in a matter of two months during Jan and Feb 2010. All three of these last records were originally found at feeders, though only one was able to be studied by a sizable group of birders. It was a gap of over 10 years until the state's fifth record was made, one that wintered in an eastern Piedmont yard in 2020-21.
Breeding Status Nonbreeder
NC BRC List Definitive
State Status
U.S. Status
State Rank SA
Global Rank G5
Coastal Plain No records.
Piedmont Casual; five records. An adult female was seen on three dates between 19 and 29 Dec 2005 near Hillsborough (Orange)*(Chat 71:78-80), [Chat 71:3 link]. An adult male was photographed in Chalybeate Springs (Harnett) on 2 Jan 2010*, and not seen again until possibly the same bird was found moribund in nearby Angier on 30 Jan [Chat 74:62 link] [Chat 77:11-15 link]. The specimen was delivered to the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. An immature was seen by several birders and photographed in Mebane (Alamance) on 13-14 Feb 2010* [Chat 74:62 link] [Chat 77:11-15 link]. One spent the entire winter in a yard in Cary (Wake), photographed by numerous people from 3 Dec 2020 - 31 Mar 2021* [Chat 85:71 link], [Chat 85:127 link]. One was photographed in a yard in Hickory (Catawba) from 12-18 Dec 2021 [Chat 86:62 link]; this report is being reviewed by the NC BRC.
Mountains Accidental. An adult male was photographed in Fletcher (Henderson) on 1 Feb 2010* [Chat 74:62 link] [Chat 77:11-15 link].
Finding Tips 1/2 *
Attribution LeGrand[2022-04-27], LeGrand[2021-11-06], LeGrand[2021-09-04]
NC Map
Map depicts all counties with a report (transient or resident) for the species.
Click on county for list of all known species.