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First Ever Sighting in America of This Bird

A unique bird sighting on the Oregon Coast has bird watchers aflutter.

Monticola solitarius spotted in Oregon
A blue rock thrush on the Oregon Coast | Michael Sanchez

Michael Sanchez inadvertently caused quite a flurry when he photographed a small bird on an Oregon beach last week. Sanchez told KOIN 6 News he initially thought the bird was black, but when he returned home and looked at his pictures on a computer he was surprised to see that it was much more colorful than he thought. It was actually “blue and chestnut-colored”, so he decided to post the pictures on social media to learn what species it was.

Local birders soon took notice as it turned out that Sanchez had photographed the first known blue rock thrush sighting in U.S. history. “Now that I know just how rare of a sighting this is, I wish I would have captured more pictures of it,” he said. “However, I’m happy with the photos that I was able to get, and I hope this brings new interest in the fascinating world of birdwatching.”

The blue rock thrush is native to Europe and Asia. As word spread about the unusual sighting, Sanchez was soon flooded with messages from birders wanting to know more about the encounter. “I never knew this little bird was going to give me my 15 minutes of fame,” Sanchez said with a laugh.

His encounter still has to pass through the Oregon Bird Records Committee or the American Birding Association Records Committee to be deemed official, but experts are confident it will be.


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