Vermont State Bird
Hermit Thrush (common name)
Catharus guttatus (scientific name)
A small thrush with coloration that ranges from olive-brown to rusty-brown above, with a spotted white breast and a distinctive white eye-ring. Although it does not live in the state year round, it was chosen the state bird of Vermont in 1941 for its musical song, which is a harbinger of spring. The thrush eats beetles, ants, caterpillars, grasshoppers, crickets, spiders, earthworms, snails, small salamanders, and fruit (raspberries, pokeberries, grapes, elderberries). Its calls include a flute-like song often sung from a high open location, variable high-pitched whistles, and short chirps. The hermit thrush nests on or near the ground in a cup of leaves, twigs, and moss. Pairs sometimes raise two broods per year. The male feeds the female while she incubates the eggs, and he guards the nest by singing on a perch a short distance away.
ALSO KNOWN AS
Wood thrush, dwarf thrush
Often forages on the ground and on low branches of shrubs and trees in woodland areas, searching for insects and berries. Hermit Thrushes can have a nervous look as they flick their wings and slowly pump their tail upon alighting. They have a swift direct flight and can hover for brief periods to catch insects on tree leaves or to pluck berries from vines. During the mating season, the male will establish a territory and perform a courtship ritual when a female arrives. In a reversal of usual bird courtship behavior, the male initially acts hostile, then he flies around the female in a circular pattern for three to four days before finally accepting her.
Breeds in mixed deciduous and coniferous forests, favoring forest edges near ponds, meadows, or small man-made clearings. Winters at lower altitudes in moist and dense forests, open woodlands, river valleys, coastal areas and, in the northern part of its range, in ravines.
Range: Winters primarily in the southern U.S., the U.S. Pacific coast, Mexico, and Central America.
Conservation Status: Least Concern (LC)
Nesting Period: May–August
Size of Clutch: 2–5 eggs
Incubation Period: 11–13 days
Egg Description: Light greenish-blue, sometimes with a few brown spots
Egg Size: 1.0 in x 0.7 in (25 mm x 18 mm)
Swainson's thrush, Bicknell's thrush
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|Author: World Trade Press|