Hermit Thrush: Small thrush, with olive-brown to red- or gray-brown upperparts, black-spotted white underparts and rufous tail. Distinct white eye-ring. Pink legs, feet. Swift direct flight, may hover briefly over prey. Considered to have one of the most beautiful songs of all North American birds. The state bird of Vermont.
Range and Habitat
Hermit Thrush: Breeds from central Alaska east to Newfoundland and south to southern California, northern New Mexico, Wisconsin, and Virginia. Spends winters from Washington and southern New England southward. Preferred habitats include coniferous and mixed forests; deciduous woodlands and thickets are favored during migration and winter.
In the Appalachian Mountains the Hermit Thrush is displaced at lower elevations by the Veery and at higher elevations by Swainson's Thrush.
East of the Rocky Mountains it usually nests on the ground. In the West, it is more likely to nest in trees.
Walt Whitman construes this bird as a symbol of the American voice, poetic and otherwise, in his elegy for Abraham Lincoln, 'When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'.
A group of thrushes are collectively known as a "hermitage" and a "mutation" of thrushes.
The Hermit Thrush has a large range, estimated globally at 8,400,000 square kilometers. Native to North America, Honduras, Guatemala, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, and Turks and Caicos Islands, but also spotted throughout Europe, this bird prefers forest ecosystems. The global population of this bird is estimated at 56,000,000 individuals and does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Hermit Thrush is Least Concern.