Hermit Thrush

Catharus guttatus




Thrushes (Turdidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Green blue sometimes with black flecks

Number of Eggs:

3 - 6

Incubation Days:

12 - 13

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

On ground., Occasionally in low tree.

Nest Material:

Weeds, rotted wood, twigs, mud, and other fine materials.


Most migrate



Hermit Thrush: Small thrush with olive-brown to red- or gray-brown upperparts, black-spotted white underparts, and rufous tail. White eye-ring is distinct. Sexes are similar. Only thrush that repeatedly lifts its tail.

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.

Breeding and Nesting

Hermit Thrush: Three to six green blue eggs, sometimes flecked with black, are laid in a well-made cup of moss, leaves, and rootlets concealed on the ground or in a low bush in the forest. Incubation ranges from 12 to 13 days and is carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Hermit Thrush: Eats insects, small invertebrates, fruits, and forbs. Forages on both the ground and in vegetation; may move leaf litter with its bill to look for food.


Hermit Thrush: Song is a series of clear, musical phrases, each on a different pitch, consisting of a piping introductory note and a reedy tremolo. Call is a low "tuck."

Similar Species

Hermit Thrush: Veery has red-brown upperparts and much paler breast spots. Wood Thrush is browner and has larger breast spots. Hermit is the only Catharus species in most of North America in winter.


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

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X