Gray-cheeked Thrush

Catharus minimus

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Thrushes (Turdidae)

Code 4

GCTH

Code 6

CATMIN

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Gray-cheeked Thrush is a medium bird, measuring only 15 to 17 cm in length. Breeding grounds are found throughout northern spruce forests in northern Canada and Alaska. They migrate to South America in winter months, and rarely Europe. These birds are long-distance migrants, and regularly cross the Atlantic Ocean to warmer climates in to spend the winter there. Nests are built at the base of trees or low levels on conifers. Food for the Gray-cheeked Thrush is foraged on the forest floor. Diets consist mainly of insects and berries. The conservation rating for the Gray-cheeked Thrush is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Gray-cheeked Thrush: Small thrush (minimus), with olive-brown upperparts, buff-brown breast with brown spots, and white or buff belly. Gray eye-ring is indistinct. Upper mandible is black with pale base, while lower mandible is yellow with black tip. Tail and rump have rust-brown wash.

 

Range and Habitat

Gray-cheeked Thrush: Breeds from northern Alaska across northern Canada to Newfoundland, south to northern British Columbia, northern Ontario, and central Quebec. Spends winters in Central and South America. Preferred habitats include coniferous forests (primarily spruce), tall shrubby areas in taiga, deciduous forests, and open woodlands.

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Gray-cheeked Thrush SONGS AND CALLS

Gray-cheeked Thrush A1

Song phrases.

Gray-cheeked Thrush A2

Chatter calls given by a pair near their nest, perhaps in alarm.

Similar Sounding

Bicknell's Thrush A1

Song is a nasal "chook-chook-zreee-zree-ree-oh".


Voice Text

"wheeoo-titi-wheeoo", "phreu"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Gray-cheeked and Bicknell's thrushes were only recently recognized as separate species. Most of the information published in the last century on "Gray-cheeked Thrush" concerned the Bicknell's Thrush instead of the Gray-cheeked.
  • A reticent bird, it keeps mostly under cover, searching for food on the ground.
  • It is all but indistinguishable from Bicknell's Thrush except by its slightly larger size and different song.
  • A group of thrushes are collectively known as a "hermitage" and a "mutation" of thrushes.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Michael Oberhofer

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
Lower mandibleX
The lower part of the bill.
RumpX
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
Upper mandibleX
The upper part of the bill.
UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X