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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

The Hermit Thrush: 15 Facts You Won’t Believe!

Hermit thrush facts about the bird who has a melodious singing voice.

Hermit thrush (scientific name Catharus guttatus) lives in coniferous trees and mountains. Hermit thrushes are found in Canada and parts of the United States including North America. Hermit bird's nest is made usually on the ground or in lower parts of the tree. These birds can be attracted to a particular person's garden if they have enough food available to feed them. The hermit thrushes primarily feed on insects and various types of berry. Leaving out berries, specifically toyon which is a large evergreen bush with red berries, will instantly attract them to your garden.

This bird looks extremely beautiful and cute in size and has a melodious sound that resembles that of a flute on a single pitch. Each of these songs lasts about two seconds and then there is a pause for a few seconds. The tones keep varying successively to communicate different meanings. In some instances when observing this bird they usually cock their tails and bob it slowly while simultaneously flicking its wings. They hop while moving on the ground. Interested in finding out more? In this article, we will take a look at some fun and interesting facts about the hermit thrush, so read on. If you like this article then visit sociable weaver and tawny owl facts too.

Hermit Thrush Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a hermit thrush?

The hermit thrush Catharus guttatus is a type of bird and belongs to the kingdom Animalia.

What class of animal does a hermit thrush belong to?

Hermit thrushes classify under the head Aves and is a type of bird that belongs to the Turdidae family.

How many hermit thrushes are there in the world?

The exact number of the species is undetermined however they are identified as a bird in the Least Concern conservation category.

Where does a hermit thrush live?

Hermit birds reside in coniferous forests in the woods and also reside in areas close to the ground where they lay nests. These North American birds also visit houses where owners set up spots for them to eat or drink.

What is a hermit thrush's habitat?

The hermit thrush habitat is mostly near conifer trees. They reside in a variety of habitats including the deciduous forests or the mountain forests. They are usually seen in open spaces. The bird hermit thrush migration happens during the winter months to beat the cold climate conditions and to survive in this time they reside in other trees like pine and other deciduous trees. These birds have been spotted in Mexico as well where they are popularly known and found by streams of water or lawns.

Who do hermit thrushes live with?

Animals like a hawk, squirrels, and chipmunks are predators to these birds while the birds feed on insects and berries available in the wild. Residing in forest regions, they are surrounded by their own species. They also live among other wildlife such as other insects, birds, and animals in the forests some of which they prey on and others which these birds are prey to.

How long does a hermit thrush live?

The expected lifespan of the birds is eight years. As per records, the longest living hermit thrush was recorded to have lived 10 years and eight months.  

How do they reproduce?

The hermit thrush bird begins by creating a nest on the ground with low vegetation and in a relatively protected area. The female is responsible for building the nest while the male is responsible for protection. The hermit thrush nest is made using nest using grass, leaves, pine, and other leftover pieces which will help sustain the nest this process takes approximately 7-10 days. The hermit thrush range of building a nest is in lower regions. Post mating the female lays three to six eggs in the nest and waits for a period of 11-13 days for the birds to hatch from their shell. The hermit thrush eggs are usually blue and spotted in color. The nestlings take about 10-15 days after this and once they develop wings and feathers they are expected to fly.  

What is their conservation status?

Hermit thrush state bird species is considered the Least Concern species by the International Union For Conservation Of Nature (IUCN). Despite being in the Least Concern category of species, they have nevertheless been harshly affected by the use of pesticides and man-made structures.

Hermit Thrush Fun Facts

What do hermit thrushes look like?

The hermit thrush Catharus guttatus has a rich brown color on the head and its back. It has a distinctly warm and reddish tail. The under part of their body is pale and it has spots on its throat and breast. Their eyes have a thin pale eye ring. They are small and cute birds that are extremely melodious in nature.

Hermit thrushes are reddish-brown in color and life amongst the wildlife.

How cute are they?

These birds are comparatively smaller than most birds and extremely cute to look at. They have pink legs and white eye rings and are also referred to as 'little thrush' or 'Swamp Angel'. These birds have one of the most melodious and beautiful voices while singing.

How do they communicate?

The hermit thrush song is a very conspicuous song and while singing it flicks its wings and tail. The hermit thrush sound is extremely beautiful and lyrical, something that everyone loves to hear. The hermit thrush call is one that is a low-pitched 'tchup' or 'quoit' to signal or in a situation of attack.

How big is a hermit thrush?

The hermit thrush is 9.8-11.8 in (25-30cm) tall which is ten times bigger than the smallest bird in the world the bee hummingbird which is 2.4 in (6.1 cm) tall.

How fast can a hermit thrush fly?

A young hermit thrush learns to fly at about 12 days. They have a swift direct flight with rapid wing beats. Their tail patterns are solid and their overall shape is perfectly fit for flying at a good pace. Similar species to this bird are the Swainson's thrush however they too have slight differences. The difference between Swainson's thrush vs hermit thrush is majorly in their outward appearance in terms of their color and these similar species are often mistaken for each other.

How much does a hermit thrush weigh?

The hermit thrush also known as the North American birds weighs 0.6-1.1 oz in weight which is approximately 18-37 g. Males and females are similar in terms of their size but vary in functions.  

What are their male and female names of the species?

The male and female of the species are more or less similar however their functions are different while the male one's job is to bring food to the nest, the female is responsible for ensuring that the nestlings are fed properly and is also responsible for building the nest. Male hermit thrush birds are responsible for marking territories before the females arrive for breeding. In the west, they are more likely to rest in nests.

What would you call a baby hermit thrush?

A baby hermit thrush is referred to as an egg when born and later referred to as a nestling. The eggs are referred to as this until they hatch. After hatching, they are then referred to as nestlings until they grow up develop feathers and wings and are ready to fly as an adult bird.

What do they eat?

Their diet primarily consists of the berries of a particular tree named toyon which is a large evergreen bush with red berries. This instantly will attract them into your garden as well as insects as food including ants, spiders, worms found in leaf litter on the forest floor. They migrate during the night time mostly in the spring season. During wintering season they move up north.

Are they dangerous?

The behavior of this bird indicates that it is not a dangerous bird at all. When attacked by predators like snakes its immediate instinct is to flee from the area.  

Would they make a good pet?

The birds ideally reside in the wild and should not be kept as pets. Keeping them as pets would be restrictive for these birds who love to fly so keeping them as pets is not a good idea considering they are wild birds. You could install a site in your home garden with berries that these birds consume in order to attract them.

Did you know...

The hermit thrush symbolizes the song of life. It's said to be associated with sending the message of survival and the basic necessities of life. This bird is loyal to one mate throughout their life and doesn't fall for other mates while they are in a relationship with one mate hence they also symbolize the union between two people.

The bird changes its diet in summer from eating solely insects to one equal part of leaf litter insects and fruits in the winter season. It is also the only member of its genus to spend the whole winter in North America.

Keeping them as a pet is not ideal however you could visit designated spots or birdwatching sites to see these beautiful, unique, and magnificent beings.

Wood thrush vs. hermit thrush

Wood thrushes are larger as compared to hermit thrushes which is a major distinguishing feature. You can tell them apart easily by analyzing the spot on their breasts i.e. where wood thrushes have clear and bold black spots hermit thrushes have more faded out spots. However, these spots are relatively lighter in shade so can be difficult to spot.

The hermit thrush is the bird state of which state?

The hermit is well known as the bird of Vermont state. This is primarily because this bird was found in all fourteen counties of Vermont and also adored for its sweet song which it sings both while nesting and at other times like flying. This was decision was made on 1 June 1941. This status did not come easily and took time however, the status is one that that this bird truly deserves.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including frigatebird, or laughing kookaburra.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our hermit thrush coloring pages.

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