Hermit Thrush – Vermont State bird

Hermit Thrush

Hermit Thrush

Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus)

Description: The Hermit Thrush is a chunky little bird with a deep brown body and a rust colored tail. The Hermit Thrush is often seen close to the ground, hopping around in forest clearings.
Year Designated: 1941


Key Facts

Life Span10 Years
FlightFlying Bird

Conservation Status

Lease Concern
Conservation StatusLeast Concern





Weight23-37 g
Wing Span25-29 cm
Length14-18 cm

Taxonomic Serial Number


Compared to the Average State Bird

How the Hermit Thrush measures up:

  • Wing span7 cm and 19% smaller than the average state bird’s wingspan (36 cm).
  • Weight48 g and 57% lighter than the average state bird’s weight (85 g)
  • Length9 cm and 33% shorter than the average state bird’s length (27 cm)

Scientific Classification

AnimaliaChordataAvesPasseriformesTurdidaeCatharus guttatus


Appearance Description

AppearanceThe Hermit Thrush has an unassuming personality and appearance with a chunky deep brown body and a rust colored tail. The underside is white with dark brown spotting that lightens towards the center feathers.
Hermit Thrush Apperance



DietTheir diet consists of mostly insects like caterpillars, bees, ants, wasps, flies and beetles. On occasion they will eat small amphibians and reptiles. During the Winter their diet shifts almost exclusively to fruit and berries.
Communication StylesHermit Thrushes sing beautiful, soft, whistling songs punctuated with short pauses. Their songs are often characterized as haunting and melancholy.
Migratory BehaviorShort-distance migrant.

Range of Habitation



Boreal forests, deciduous woods, open woodland.


snakes, foxes, weasels, skunks, owls, hawks, chipmunks, squirrels and house cats.

Mating and Breeding

Breeding Overview

Breeding BehaviorMonogamous, but may pair with a new mate each year.
Breeding SeasonSummer
NestingNests on the ground of grass, leaves, pine needles, and bits of wood. 4-6 inches across and 1-2 inches deep.
Nesting and IncubationNesting: 10-15 Days, Incubation 11-13 Days


Hermit Thrush Eggs
ColorLight blue, sometimes accented with brown spots.
Clutch Size3 to 6 egg(s)

Chick description

Born with its eyes closed, helpless, and naked, save a few tufts of dark down.


Birding Facts

Interesting FactHermit Thrushes are known to get very creative with their nest placement, with nests often found on cemetery graves, golf courses, and mine shafts.
Best Season to ObserveAutumnSpring
Observation TipsThough not commonly found near feeders or in yards, they can often be spotted on the ground near berry plants.
Other NamesGrive solitaire, Zorzalito colirrufo


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