I rarely see these birds because they are hidden away in a tall tree, so you might ask why it is one of my favorites. The answer is its beautiful song. Swainson's are a medium-size thrush and they are found in forests. Richard Kuehn was lucky enough to capture one singing recently.
Swainson's Thrushes overwinter in Mexico and South America. Their arrival on the Mendonoma Coast signifies spring to me. When they pair up, you can hear them calling to each other during the day, keeping in touch with their beautiful song.
Here is a link to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to hear their call: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Swainsons_Thrush/sounds. But you will have to imagine a series of these calls, with the thrill going upwards on the scale, sometimes almost too high to hear - at least by human ear.
Thanks to Rich for allowing me to share his photo with you here. To see a Swainson's Thrush nest, along with an American Goldfinch nest, here is the link: http://www.mendonomasightings.com/2011/07/26/swainsons-thrush-and-american-goldfinch-i-have-two-nests-to-show-you/