HERMIT THRUSH – (Cattarus guttatus)
The Hermit thrush has an unmistakable melodious, flute-like crystalline song, which contrasts with the modest appearance of this bird. The breast is grey with brown spots (hence the Latin word ‘guttatus’ which means ‘spot’). The upper parts are brown and the under parts are whitish. The tail on top is cinnamon. The hermit thrush is around 17 cm (7 in.) long, and is slightly smaller than the American robin.
The hermit thrush inhabits forests, where it forages on the ground for insects. Sometimes it will shake the ground with its feet to dislodge insects. This bird usually nests on the ground. In the winter the hermit thrush will eat berries. Their hunting behavior is similar to the American robin – staying still and peering at a spot on the ground where they found a food prey, and then pouncing on it.
The song of the hermit thrush apparently shares some patterns of human music as per this study.
The hermit thrush is known to breed in PEI and is common on the island in spring and summer. It is found in much of Canada and the USA, and migrates to the southeast USA and Mexico for the winter. The hermit thrush is the state bird of Vermont, USA.