Hardier than many of the
other thrushes, the Hermit Thrush is usually the earliest spring migrant and
latest fall migrant of the similar thrushes. They can be distinguished
from the similar Swainson's Thrush
and Grey-cheeked Thrush by their
distinctive reddish rump and tail. They also possess a distinct
light/white eye-ring. Hermit Thrushes are known for their
Habitat: Nearly any kind of wooded habitat
during migration and in the winter. Prefers conifer or mixed-forest during
the breeding season.
Diet: Primarily insects in the summers,
also earthworms, spiders, and occasionally small vertebrates. Feeds
heavily on berries during the winter.
Behavior: Often forages on the ground, as well as
low in vegetation, searching for insects and berries. They will also
occasionally hover and glean insects from foliage or branches, or grab
berries while hovering. Hermit Thrushes often have a "nervous" look as
they flick their wings and slowly pump their tail.
Nesting: Non-breeder in South Dakota
Migration: Summers throughout much of Canada, the
western U.S., the Great Lakes region, and the northeastern U.S. Winters in
the southern U.S., near the west coast, and points south. Hermit Thrushes
migrate earlier in the spring and later in the fall than most other thrushes, as
they are better at dealing with colder weather.
Conservation Status: Widespread, numbers generally stable.
Cornell University's "All About Birds - Hermit Thrush"
eNaature.com: Hermit Thrush
Photo Information: October 13th, 2008 - Beaver
Creek Nature Area near Brandon, South Dakota
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution Hermit Thrush photos.