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Rufous-backed Robin, NM: San Antonio

To my knowledge, there are only two records of Rufous-backed Robin in the state of New Mexico in all recorded history, and both of them were in Socorro County. Makes me wonder why no one is seeing them closer to Arizona. The other record, by the way, is at the home of the redoubtable Pat Basham, a local bird artist who has seen a long string of truly incredible records in her yard, such as Groove-billed Ani, Swallow-tailed Kite, and just about every warbler there is.

But the second Rufous-backed Robin was a delight to many as it stayed put and easy to find for several weeks in December 1989. Here are some photos I took on 1989-12-21.

Rufous-backed Robin perched on chain link fence Rufous-backed Robin jumping off chain link fence

When first discovered, the bird was visiting a dog's water dish every twenty minutes or so at the Bosque Bird Watcher's RV Park, a very pleasant little RV park catering to birders and located right on S.R. 1 at the north border of the Bosque del Apache NWR south of San Antonio, NM. The first photo shows the bird perched on the fence, ready to descend for a drink, and the second shows him in mid-jump; note the rufous underwing. And here is the famous water dish: Rufous-backed Robin waiting for the famous water dish

This view shows the distinctive throat streaking: Rufous-backed Robin showing fine black streaks extending to breast

A view of the back and crown: Rufous-backed Robin showing rufous back

Here's a closeup of the head, showing the bill color and the red eyering: Rufous-backed Robin, head showing red eyering

Next: Glossy Ibis, NM: Bosque del Apache NWR
See also: Birdwatching
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John W. Shipman,
Last updated: 2003/08/21 22:23:44