Gray-cheeked Thrush

The Gray-cheeked Thrush (Catharus minimus) is a medium-sized thrush 15-17 cm in length. It has the white-dark-white underwing pattern characteristic of Catharus thrushes.

Adults are olive-brown on the upperparts. The underparts are white with gray on the flanks; the breast is grayish brown with darker spots. They have pink legs and a faint grey eye ring. They also have gray cheeks.

Their breeding habitat is the northern spruce forests across northern Canada and Alaska. They make a cup nest in a low location on a conifer or on the ground at the base of a shrub.

These birds migrate to northern South America. On rare occasions this species can be seen in Europe. Its northerly breeding range and long-distance migration make it one of the more regular North American passerine migrants to cross the Atlantic.

They forage on the forest floor, mainly eating insects and berries.

This bird’s song is a distant-sounding series of flute-like tones rising then falling in pitch. Like the similar Bicknell’s Thrush, they are very secretive during the nesting season.