Hermit thrush

Catharus guttatus

TAXONOMY

Muscicapa guttata Pallas, 1811, Alaska. OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Grive solitaire; German: Einsiedlerdrossel: Spanish: Zorzal de hermit.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

6.3-7.1 in (16-18 cm); male 1.0-1.3 oz (27-37 g); female 1.0-1.1 oz (27-32 g). Rich brown to grayish brown upperparts; reddish tail; whitish underparts with buff-washed breast and gray- or brownish-washed flanks; dark spots on breast and sides of throat. There are size and color variations across the wide breeding range of this species.

DISTRIBUTION

North America, breeding from Alaska to Newfoundland across Canada and south to California, New Mexico; Long Island; winters in southern United States and Central America.

HABITAT

Coniferous and mixed woodlands and thickets, forest bogs and clearings, also very dry areas but prefers neighborhood of water.

BEHAVIOR

More secretive than shy, usually solitary, terrestrial or flitting through low vegetation, hopping about on open grass or in deep cover and flying into higher canopy if disturbed; flicks wings and tail and quickly raises and slowly lowers tail on landing.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Worms, insects, and fruits.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Breeds May-August, nest of twigs, bark, grass, and roots in tree; three to four eggs incubated only by female for 11-13 days, chicks fly after 10-15 days; two broods.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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