The natural history of the American Robin (Turdus migratorius) is well described throughout its continental range. Its diet is described as consisting primarily of invertebrates and fruits. The few records of vertebrate prey species are considered unusual food items. Documentation of American Robins preying on amphibians is rarer still, and of those records only anurans have been documented west of the continental divide. On July 2015, an American Robin was observed predating a plethodonid salamander in the northwestern foothills of the Olympic Mountains of Washington State. Previous studies have posed that plethodonids are an unlikely food for thrushes despite their abundance because of the typically fossorial or moist habitat requirements of plethodonids, which restrict their foraging ability. We believe this is the 1st account of predation of a plethodonid salamander by the American Robin in western North America, and one of few across the entire range of this well studied bird. This observation will expand the understanding of the American Robin's varied diet and hopefully stimulate other reports of atypical prey items in the future.
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Vol. 97 • No. 3