Bluethroat

This attractive old-world thrush is a regular Trans-Beringian migrant. Small numbers breed around the Seward Peninsula and the Brooks Range. These North American breeders tend to cross the Bering Sea at the Bering Strait or over Saint Lawrence Island. Due to this more northerly crossing route and their secretive nature it is not surprising that there are very few Pribilof records. Bluethroats have been found on the Pribilofs at least five times, twice in late May, once in late August, once in early September and once in late September. Adult males, resplendent in their metallic blue, red, black and orange breast are hard to misidentify. Females and immatures have a distinct white supercilium, black malar and a variably black necklace on the upper breast. These fieldmarks separate Bluethroats from the other small thrushes of Asia that could potentially reach the Pribilofs. Bluethroats of all ages have rufous patches at the base of their tail, and a dark tailband. When not singing Bluethroats are very furtive, preferring areas that afford good vertical cover and some shelter from the wind.