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Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 17:35 EDT

Hermit Thrush

The Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus) is a medium-sized thrush measuring on average 15-17 cm in length. It has the white-dark-white underwing pattern characteristic of Catharus thrushes. Adults are mainly brown on the upperparts, with reddish tails. The underparts are white with dark spots on the breast and grey or brownish flanks. They have pink legs and a white eye ring. There is a subtle difference between eastern and western counterparts; birds in the east are more olive-brown on the upperparts; western birds are more gray-brown.

Their breeding habitat is coniferous or mixed woods across Canada, Alaska and the northeastern and western United States. They make a cup nest on the ground or relatively low in a tree.

These birds migrate to the southern United States south to Central America. They are very rare vagrants to Western Europe.

They forage on the forest floor, also in trees or shrubs, mainly eating insects and berries.

This bird has an ethereal flute-like song constructed from a descending musical phrase repeated at different pitches. They often sing from a high open location.

This is the state bird of Vermont.

Hermit Thrush