Skip to main content

Hermit Thrush

ID Info
Silhouette ThrushesThrushes
Hermit ThrushCatharus guttatus
  • ORDER: Passeriformes
  • FAMILY: Turdidae

Basic Description

An unassuming bird with a lovely, melancholy song, the Hermit Thrush lurks in the understories of far northern forests in summer and is a frequent winter companion across much of southern North America. It forages on the forest floor by rummaging through leaf litter or seizing insects with its bill. The Hermit Thrush has a rich brown upper body and smudged spots on the breast, with a reddish tail that sets it apart from similar species in its genus.

More ID Info
image of range map for Hermit Thrush
Range map provided by Birds of the World
Explore Maps

Find This Bird

Look for the Hermit Thrush in forest openings or along trails. This species spends winter and summer in different parts of the country, so check the range map to know when to go looking for one. In spring and summer, you'll likely hear their mournful, flutelike song, oh, holy holy, ah, purity purity eeh, sweetly sweetly long before you see them. In winter they are frequently near berry-bearing plants.

Other Names

  • Zorzalito Colirrufo (Spanish)
  • Grive solitaire (French)

Backyard Tips

Hermit Thrushes rarely visit backyards and generally do not visit feeders. However, during migration, they often forage on the ground or eat berries in yards with trees or shrubs. Find out more about what this bird likes to eat and what feeder is best by using the Project FeederWatch Common Feeder Birds bird list.

  • Cool Facts