This pretty bird is a songbird that is about 8 inches long. It is a Wood Thrush, a cousin to the American Robin.
This close-up shows that it indeed has hearts on it’s breast–ok, they are called ‘dark spots’ but they are shaped like little hearts. And that is so fitting for a bird that sings like a flute. Just go to this National Audubon Society link and click on either of the songs to hear what a beautiful songster this bird is. The hearts/spots on the Wood Thrush extend from it’s neck to it’s belly on a white background. It also has a bright white eye ring and a short tail that help distinguish it from other members of the thrush family. According to Animal Diversity Web, it’s range in North America “extends from southern Canada to northern Florida and from the Atlantic coast to the Missouri River and the eastern Great Plains.”
Now is the time for Wood Thrushes to be migrating south to Mexico and Central America where they spend the winter. However this bird took a detour several hundred miles west of where it could usually be found during migration. I found it in a linden tree in cemetery in Canon City, Colorado just a few days ago. Though this species may migrate through the eastern half of Kansas, this is 200 miles west of the border with Kansas so this bird is quite a ways off course. It wasn’t there the next day when I looked so I am hoping it took off with southerly winds the evening I found it to take it on it’s journey south.