Nature Journal
with Photos

          
Hermit Thrush Identification Tips
(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)
 

General Information
- Eastern United States have olive-brown upperparts;
   gray-brown in western birds
- White eye ring
- Dark spots on breast
- Underparts white with brownish to grayish flanks
- Pink legs
- Thin bill with pale base to lower mandible
- Sexes similar

Behavior
- Often forages on forest floor
- Distinctive song
- Only brown-backed thrush to regularly winter in the
   United States
- Migrates earlier in Spring and later in Fall than
   similar-looking thrushes

Similar species
The Hermit Thrush resides in forests where it is more often heard than seen. It most similar to other thrushes but can be told from them by its rusty rump and tail contrasting with the duller back and wings.

Gray-cheeked and Bicknell's Thrushes lack white eye rings and have gray cheeks. Veeries have less spotting on the breast. Swainson's Thrushes have buffy spectacles.

Wood Thrushes have larger, and more extensive spotting on the underparts. In the eastern United States, Fox Sparrows are somewhat similar but have conical bills and streaked backs.

 
 
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