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Hermit Thrush Identification

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The Four Keys to ID

  • Size & Shape

    Hermit Thrushes have a chunky shape similar to an American Robin, but smaller. They stand upright, often with the slender, straight bill slightly raised. Like other thrushes, the head is round and the tail fairly long.

    Relative Size

    Smaller than an American Robin, larger than a Song Sparrow

    Relative Sizebetween sparrow and robinbetween sparrow and robin

    • Both Sexes
      • Length: 5.5-7.1 in (14-18 cm)
      • Weight: 0.8-1.3 oz (23-37 g)
      • Wingspan: 9.8-11.4 in (25-29 cm)

Regional Differences

There are three main groups of Hermit Thrushes. Birds in the Pacific states tend to be smaller, thinner billed, with dusky brown upper bodies and grayish flanks. In the interior mountain West, they are bigger, thin billed, and grayer overall with larger spots and less rufous in the wings. Eastern birds are medium sized and thick billed. They are richly colored, with a buffy wash on the flanks and under the tail.