Hermit Thrush

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The Hermit Thrush of the Pacific Northwest

The adult hermit Thrush has brown upper parts with a moderate rufous wash. They have a white eye ring that is sometimes not complete. The lateral throat stripes are black, contrasting with white throat.

The tail is distinctly reddish, contrasting with the brown upper parts. They have distinctive black spotting on a generally white chest. The sides and flanks are a washed buffy brown. The wing panels are rufous and moderately contrasting. The small bill is dark with pinkish base to mandible.

The juvenile birds are spotted whitish to buff above, blackish below; some of the older juveniles can be distinguished by the presence of retained Juvenal wing coverts.

The hermit thrush is quite similar to the Swainson’s thrush and they are sometimes hard to tell apart.
They typically breed in conifer dominated forests, usually in areas of swamps and thick brush.

The hermit thrush will sometimes winter on Vancouver Island.

Hermit Thrush, Vancouver Island, BC Coastal Region, Pacific Northwest
Hermit Thrush, Photo By Robert Logan

The female hermit thrush will lay two sets of eggs per year. The first set of four to six eggs are laid early in April, the second about the middle of June. The eggs themselves are a light blue in color, sprinkled with dark dots towards the large end.

The female is much attached to her nest, and glides off silently from it when closely approached, but not unless she thinks herself or her nest has been observed.

The young run after the parents, on the ground, for several days after they leave the nest. The nest is built low in trees, seldom above seven or eight feet from the ground, and often so low that one can easily look into them. It is formed of coarse dry weeds, with an interior of soft grass.
The hermit thrush feeds on various fruits and berries.

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