Thrushes, Mockingbirds, Starlings, and Waxwings of Columbia County, Oregon

Thrushes are medium-sized songbirds that are often seen feeding on the ground, eating both insects and seeds. Most prefer wooded areas. The Northern Mockingbird, American Dipper, European Starling, and Cedar Waxwing are not themselves thrushes but come from related families. The American Pipit is an unrelated bird from the wagtail family.

Swainson's Thrush northwest oregon columbia county
Swainson’s Thrush – A smallish thrush with brown back/tail and a spotted chest. Very common in coniferous forest, though more often heard than seen. (photo © kathawk)
Hermit Thrush northwest oregon columbia county
Hermit Thrush – Cinnamon tail distinguishes it from Swainson’s Thrush, along with its uniquely beautiful song. Found in coniferous and mixed forest. (photo © Patty Teague)
Varied Thrush northwest oregon columbia county
Varied Thrush – Black breast-band and orange on eyebrow and wings distinguish from Robin. Prefers dense forest, especially coniferous old-growth. (photo © Jim Johnson)
American Robin northwest oregon columbia county
American Robin – The largest thrush, with a clear brown above and red below. Very common across a variety of habitats including residential yards and gardens. (photo © George Chrisman)
Western Bluebird northwest oregon columbia county
Western Bluebird – Dark blue bird with reddish breast. Prefers open, hill habitat. Loss of treehole nesting sites have led to a steep decline and it is now a Sensitive Species. (photo © Patty Teague)
mountain bluebird northwest oregon columbia county
Mountain Bluebird – More sky-blue than the Western Bluebird and without the red breast. Prefers mountain habitat and is almost never seen in our county. (photo © cgates326)
Townsend's Solitaire northwest oregon columbia county
Townsend’s Solitaire – Grayish with distinct white eye-ring. Breeds in openings in coniferous forest, such as burns or clearcuts. (photo © nmrvelj)
Northern Mockingbird northwest oregon columbia county
Northern Mockingbird – Paler belly than Townsend’s Solitaire and has white wing patches. Adapts easily to human-disturbed habitats but is rarely seen this far north. (photo © Steve Smith)
American Dipper northwest oregon columbia county
American Dipper – This small plump gray bird is unmistakable as it bobs around while going into and out of the water. Only found around fast-flowing streams. (photo © RJ Baltierra)
European Starling northwest oregon columbia county
European Starling – Long yellow bill and patterned body distinguish from local blackbirds. An introduced species from Europe that competes with our native thrushes. (photo © Zach)
Cedar Waxwing northwest oregon columbia county
Cedar Waxwing – Black facemask and cinnamon crest. Belly is yellowish below and undertail feathers are white. A fruit eater found in mixed forest, orchards, and residential yards. (photo © Jack W. Booth)
bohemian waxwing northwest oregon columbia county
Bohemian Waxwing – Differs from Cedar Waxwing in grayish belly below, reddish undertail feathers, and white wingbars. Nomadic, very rarely in our area. (photo © Mervyn Greening)
American Pipit northwest oregon columbia county
American Pipit – A medium-sized grayish-brown bird with a light eyebrow, white throat and streaked breast Pumps tail up and down in unique manner. Found in bare open fields. (photo © Andy Bridges)

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