A Sister Site of Northern Michigan Birding.
Michigan Birds Checklist:

Michigan Checklist Report Board NMB Forum Sightings Database

 Swainson's Thrush

Status in Michigan
Fairly Common Transient summer resident

Early Spring Date

Late Fall Date
Note: Early and Late Dates are being researched.
Image Credits
Count totals in the NMB Databases for Swainson's Thrush.

Use the links below to view the Swainson's Thrush reports in the respective databases.
If there are zero sightings for a particular season, that database will return no results.

Active Database - Summer 2005
View Swainson's Thrush sightings.
Swainson's Thrush Archives Reports
Spring 2005
Fall 2004
Spring 2004
Winter 03-04
Fall 2003 43
Spring 2003 23
Winter 02-03 0
Fall 2002 24
Summer 2002 1
Spring 2002 40
Winter 01-02 0
Fall 2001 32
Summer 2001 1
Spring 2001 17
Winter 00-01 2
Fall 2000 22
Summer 2000 1
Spring 2000 23
Winter 00-99 0
Fall 1999 4
Spring/Summer 1999 3

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: Swainson's Thrush

Search "The Birds of Michigan" text.

Home - Foreword - Preface - Introduction - Hypothetical List - Literature Cited

Historical Text
The Birds of Michigan - by: Norman A. Wood
Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75

Hylocichia ustulata swainsoni (Tschudi)
Olive-backed Thrush (A.O.U. 1998: Swainson's Thrush)

Common transient. Summer resident south to Kalkaska and Wexford counties; common in the Upper Peninsula.

First authoritatively recorded for Michigan by Gibbs (1879: 482).

SPRING.-Arrival is reported in southern counties chiefly during the first three weeks of May, and in Upper Peninsula, usually about mid-May.

Lower Peninsula.-N. A. Wood recorded the species at Rockwood, Monroe County, on May 2, 1934; Swales found it in the Detroit area between April 30 (1903, several seen) and June 9 (1907, 1), noting the greatest numbers in mid-May (10 on May 16,1909; 12 on May 18,2023). In the Ann Arbor region R. E. Morrill saw an Olive-backed Thrush on April 30, 1940, and A. D. Tinker reported 6 there on May 25, 1924. The species was noted as abundant by N. A. Wood (1922: 35) in Ben-ten County May 6 to 12, 1919, and after May 15 in 1918. It was recorded by F. W. Rapp (1931: 33) at Vicksburg, Kalamazoo County, from May 6 (1938) to May 20 (1929). G. A. Ammann collected a specimen at the Prairie Farm, Alicia, Saginaw County, on May 15, 1940; William Brewster and Jonathan Dwight secured several specimens (M.C.Z.) at Cadillac, Wexford County, on May 14, 1888.

Upper Peninsula.-Bryens has observed the species at McMillan, Luce County, in mid-May or somewhat later (1, May 16, 1925; 1, May 21, 2023); Christofferson has also noted it in mid-May at Blaney, Schoolcraft County. One was seen at Whitefish Point, Chippewa County, by Brodkorb on May 13, 1936. The species was recorded on Isle Royale by Laurence Dayton on May 6, 1937; N. A. Wood saw 1 there on May 4, 1930, and 10 on May 29, 1930.

SUMMER.-Nests with eggs have been found in early June and late July, but the chief nesting period is between mid-June and mid-July.

Lower Peninsula.-Barrows (1912: 716) provided several apparently reliable records from the northern part of the peninsula: J. H. Doming found a nest with 4 eggs in Wexford County in June, 1875, and W. H. Dun- ham discovered a nest with 3 eggs near the Manistee River, Kalkaska County, on June 5, 1899. On Beaver Island, Charlevoix County, N. A. Wood saw the species on June 22, 1925; in Cheboygan County, Blanchard and Nelson (MS of 1937) recorded 1 young collected at the Maple River, Burt Lake, on August 1, 1927, and R. M. Strong found a nest with 3 eggs near Douglas Lake on July 22, 1916.

Upper Peninsula.-Van Tyne (1923: 25) listed the species as a common summer resident on Les Cheneaux Islands, Mackinac County; in Chippewa County, T. D. Hinshaw and R. A. MacMullan secured several specimens (U.M.M.Z.) on Drummond Island in late June and early July, 1938, and N. A. Wood (1914: 73) recorded the species as common at Whitefish Point, observing 1 young just able to fly on August 15. Christofferson discovered a nest with 2 eggs in the same county near Raco (west of Sault Ste Marie) on July 13,1924. N. A. Wood (1918: 14) listed the species as abundant at Whitefish Lake, Alger County; S. S. Gregory, Jr. (1929: 188), noted the species as a common summer resident in the Huron Mountains, Marquette County. An adult and a nest with 3 eggs (U.M.M.Z.) were collected at Brown Lake, Dickinson County, by F. M. Gaige on July 23, 1909, and at least 15 Olive-backed Thrushes were noted daily in 1938, in the vicinity of Golden Lake, Iron County, by John L. George and R. L. Patterson. Leonard Wing (1940: 188) found a nest with 4 eggs, July 18, 1932, northeast of Ironwood, Gogebic County; Walkinshaw photographed a nest with 3 eggs, on June 27, 1933, near Three Lakes, Baraga County. The species was seen in the Porcupine Mountains by 0. McCreary who found a nest with 2 eggs there on July 26 (N. A. Wood, 1905: 178); the species was also noted at Copper Harbor, Keweenaw County, by N. A. Wood (1933: 732) as a common summer resident. Max M. Peet (1909: 384-85) mentioned a nest with 3 young discovered on Isle Royale, on July 8, and 2 fledglings, August 3 (1905).

FALL.-Migrants are reported in the Upper Peninsula chiefly from late August until mid-September and in the south, until late September.

Upper Peninsula.-Max M. Peet (1909: 384-85) listed the Olive-backed Thrush as one of the most abundant thrushes in fall on Isle Royale (from mid-August to mid-September). Ira N. Gabrielson collected a specimen in the Huron Mountains, Marquette County, on September 21, 1936; R. E. 01sen and A. D. Tinker noted 2 Olive-backed Thrushes at Deer Park, Luce County, on August 31, 2 more on September 2, and collected 1 (U.M.M.Z.) on September 5 (1936). Fargo recorded "very many" at Whitefish Point, Chippewa County, on both September 1 and 3, 1925, and Christofferson saw 1 at Blaney, Schoolcraft County, on September 26, 1936, and 3 on September 29, 1937.

Lower Peninsula.-Chancy (1910: 278) has recorded the Olive-backed Thrush as a very common transient after mid-September at Hamlin Lake, Mason County; N. A. Wood (1911: 112) observed great numbers on Charity Island, Huron County, between September 4 and 10 and again between September 28 and October 7. The species was noted in Berrien County on August 29 (N. A. Wood, 1922: 35); 1 Thrush was seen in Oak- land County by R. E. Olsen on October 2, 1938, and a specimen (U.M.M.Z.) was secured near Ann Arbor by F. L. Davis on October 2, 1905. Swales recorded numbers of Olive-backed Thrushes at Detroit in September: 10 on September 6, 1911; 20 on September 13,1911; 12 on September 27, 1908; and 1 as late as October 6 in 1907. In the Toledo-Erie marsh area L. W. Campbell (1940: 206) has observed the species most frequently from September 1 to 25.

Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75
The Birds of Michigan
By: Norman A. Wood
University of Michigan Press
August 28, 2023

Digitized by: Keith F. Saylor
[email protected]

| Checklist Home | View | List All | Log Off |

Be sure to visit these websites for more sightings.

Saginaw Bay Birding
SMRR-Southeastern Michigan Raptor Research
Copyright 1998 Gossamer Threads Inc. Database Powered by Gossamer Threads Inc.