Thanks, Ruth and Charlie!  Varied Thrushes will always remind me of “V.T.,” who spent the winter months some years ago, in a trailer park in Bolton.  The bird appeared in the yard of Don and June Kinney at a crucial time in June’s life.  She was weakened by a heart condition, in need of surgery, and she credited “V.T.” with saving her life.  From her bedroom window she would look for this bird every morning.  Don made special suet cakes to bribe the bird to stay, which it did until spring.    And like the story Charlie told, their home was open to every obsessive birder that knocked on their door.  I remember one visit, walking into her bedroom to find several people sitting on the edge of her bed, chatting while peering out the window in hopes to see the bird.   Another time she said with a smile and a sparkle in her eye, “ I have never entertained so many men in my bedroom before now.”  There was so much life and love packed into that cozy home.   The bird, and the birding friends that she made, gave her the strength to live.  I will never forget June, her wonderful spirit and sense of humor.  Birds bring people to friendships....that’s a pretty amazing feat for such a small creature.


----- Original Message -----
From: Ruth Coppersmith <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Thu, 06 Dec 2018 16:59:25 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] VARIED THRUSH 324 Morse Hill Rd. E. Dorset, Dec 6, 2018

Sweet story.  Thanks for sharing Charlie

> On Dec 6, 2018, at 1:58 PM, Charlie La Rosa <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Glad to hear this! Brought back so many memories. I grew up in Brattleboro,
> on Pleasant St., and when I was perhaps in 6th grade, having studied the
> little Golden Guide to Birds (which had an illustration of a varied thrush
> near the beginning) from cover to cover and saved up to get my own copy of
> the cloth-covered Peterson, I came home one winter day for lunch, and my
> mother described a different bird she had seen that morning at our feeder,
> From her description, I knew it right away to be a varied thrush, a
> gorgeous bird. Well, the bird returned when I happened to be home and I
> identified it positively. We called Louise Mullen who, at that time, wrote
> a bird column for the Brattleboro Daily Reformer, and very soon the local
> birders were slowing down or stopping in front of the house to get a look
> at the thrush. The next day, when I got home for lunch, our street was
> lined with cars, and I found my mother serving tea and coffee in our
> kitchen to a crush of birders from near and far who had shown up to see the
> bird. There was a group from Mass. Audubon in Littleton that had made the
> trip. They also wanted to meet the boy who had identified the bird. Of
> course, people were skeptical at first, but once an adult birder, one who
> was deemed reliable enough, confirmed the ID, the gates were opened. The
> bird stayed around for a number of days and was very cooperative in giving
> audiences to the elite and not so elite of New England birders.
> A couple of years later, a black-headed grosbeak showed up and there was no
> skepticism that time around. That was 56 or 57 years ago. We had throngs of
> evening grosbeaks crowding our feeder every day throughout the winter back
> then. Pine grosbeaks were a common occurrence in the big spruce tree in our
> neighbor's yard. Tree swallows nested in a box I made and put on the
> highest branch of our apple tree that was sturdy enough to still allow me
> to climb and get a look. Today, the apple is long gone, as are the cherry
> and the giant elm and the sugar maple in the front yard. I didn't notice
> any feeders around the last time I drove through the neighborhood. Nothing
> stays the same for very long, but I still feed the birds in winter.
> Charlie La Rosa
> So. Washington, VT
> On Thu, Dec 6, 2018 at 1:10 PM Ruth Stewart <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> This was an oh-so-brief look, but enough for me to recover from shock and
>> take pictures. Pretty conclusive image!  Not seen in next half hr since.
>> Ruth Stewart
>> E. Dorset, VT
>> ________________________________________
>> From: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Thursday, December 6, 2018 1:00 PM
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: eBird Report - My yard birds - 324 Morse Hill Rd. E. Dorset, Dec
>> 6, 2018
>> My yard birds - 324 Morse Hill Rd. E. Dorset, Bennington, Vermont, US
>> Dec 6, 2018 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
>> Protocol: Stationary
>> Comments:     Overcast,  28degrees, dusting of snow on gd. Continuous
>> observation from Office for 4 hrs.
>> 4 species (+1 other taxa)
>> Mourning Dove  8
>> Blue Jay  15     Descended en mass, pigged out and left - 10:30am
>> Black-capped Chickadee  4
>> Varied Thrush/American Robin  1     I took a look at feeder activity and
>> spotted this bird at 12:40pm. I immediately recognized it as a Varied
>> Thrush and grabbed my camera to snapped pictures without even going through
>> various field marks. It flew off in less than 1 min of picture taking.
>> Dark-eyed Junco  4
>> View this checklist online at
>> This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (