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Wintering Hermit Thrush

Posted on Dec 20, 2014

This is one of seemingly many (in the relative sense) Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus) I have spotted in the last couple of months as this hardy species has been sticking out the late autumn in a number of my frequented locations. The bird pictured is one of those individuals. The most enigmatic sighting I had recently was with my Shetland Sheepdog a couple of weeks ago as we found a bird foraging in the lawn under a maple tree near the edge of mature woodlands. It looked at us and hopped up into one of the eye-level branches as we approached, casually watching us. It watched my dog inquisitively and then glanced back at me as we strolled to within 10 feet. It then surprised me by hopping to the ground in front of my feet around five feet from us both. My dog has been raised around birding and enjoys watching them so he had no reaction other than content staring while the bird chipped at us a little, almost as if it was asking me for a handout. It did look rather hungry…naturally, I did not have my camera, and that is how these interactions most frequently happen. Having nothing fit for a Hermit Thrush we gave our apologies and kept walking while it went back to foraging.

Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus) perched in tree in autumn-0063

Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus) perched in tree in autumn-0065

Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus) perched in tree in autumn-0073

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation & Outreach Coordinator