Monday, 16 August 2004

Rufous-backed Robin

This species resembles its widespread relative the American Robin in general appearance, but is a bit smaller at 21.5–24 cm (8.5–9.4 in) long, with an average wingspan of 39.4 cm (15.5 in) and weight of 74 g (2.6 oz). It is named for the adult's rufous or olive-rufous upper back, which contrasts with the grayish head, nape, and rump. The chest and flanks are also rufous. The belly and undertail coverts are white; the throat is white with many black streaks.

The bill and eye-ring are yellow. Females are typically somewhat duller-colored than males. Juveniles, like other juvenile Turdus thrushes, are spotted below; they are browner and have pale flecks above. The subspecies of the Islas Tres Marías, also found around San Blas, Nayarit, is sometimes considered a separate species, Grayson's Robin orGrayson's Thrush, Turdus graysoni (Ridgway, 1882).

It looks "washed out", with little rufous tinting. The song is slow and warbling, with repetition of phrases. An example is "weedele loo loo freerlii..." The alarm call is a long, mellow, descending whistle, "cheeoo or teeeuu". Other calls resemble those of the American Robin; the flight call is thinner.

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