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December 1, 2012 / Leslie

Weekend Birding: Hermit Thrush

Although migration season is now over, I have another bird to highlight that is a visitor in the Chicago area during the autumn months and that is the Hermit Thrush. I saw this bird back in October and hopefully he (or she) has made his way safely south by now.

Hermit Thrush

The Hermit Thrush can often be found in open areas at the forest edge or along trails, which is where I saw this little guy. They rarely visit backyards but occasionally can be found foraging on the ground in the leaves or in berry trees. Only once has one stopped by my yard.

Hermit Thrush

In the first photo the bird was nice enough to pose for me and a few minutes later he turned around to show off his long reddish tail.

They have a chunky shape similar to an American Robin, but are slightly smaller. They have a spotted breast, a brown back and a reddish tail. The robin is also a member of the thrush family and baby robins have the same spotting on their breast which is lost when they grow their adult feathers.

The Hermit Thrush has a fairly large range and can be seen at different times of the year throughout much of North America. They spend their summers in the northern forests and migrate south for the winter.


Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Alyce at At Home With Books. Visit her blog to see more great photos or add your own.

© 2012 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.



Leave a Comment
  1. Brona / Dec 1 2012 3:08 am

    Beautiful close-up 🙂


  2. sim@chapter1-take1 / Dec 1 2012 3:20 am

    I just love his plump little body. Would love to cup it in my hand!


  3. Louise / Dec 1 2012 6:19 am

    What great shots you got! It’s so fabulous when they pose for you isn’t it? He’s an attractive little fellow, I hope he had a safe journey too.


  4. laurelrainsnow / Dec 1 2012 7:47 am

    I am amazed at the wide number of bird types that you discover in your area. I know we probably have a few here, too, but I am guilty of not noticing….Thanks for bringing them to our attention!



    • Leslie / Dec 2 2012 6:46 pm

      You do have them on the west coast but you probably wouldn’t see one unless you were walking along a wooded trail. They look like a robin at first glance, only a little smaller.


  5. BermudaOnion / Dec 1 2012 8:15 am

    Another beauty. Every time I read your weekend birding posts, I long to go birding with a zoom lens.


    • Leslie / Dec 2 2012 6:47 pm

      The zoom lens makes these photos possible. Without it the smaller birds are just a speck in the photo.


  6. Suko / Dec 1 2012 10:48 am

    Beautiful post, Leslie! I agree with Kathy’s comment above.


  7. Arti / Dec 1 2012 12:09 pm

    Don’t think I’ll see them here in Alberta in the winter. But just love your photos. I found out the other day while in a wild bird store here that many of the backyard birds stay and not migrate even in -20C weather. They’re Nuthatches, Chickadees, Blue Jays, Woodpeckers… amazing.


    • Leslie / Dec 2 2012 6:51 pm

      Hopefully they have gone south for the winter. They don’t eat seed or go to feeders so they wouldn’t have much food up north this time of year. I too find it incredible the number of birds that stay here in the cold months.


  8. Christine Harding / Dec 1 2012 12:14 pm

    That is a beautiful little bird. I learn so much from your posts – I had no idea the robin was the same family as a thrush. My Snapshot is at


    • Leslie / Dec 2 2012 6:59 pm

      I know the American Robin is a thrush. I’m not sure about the European Robin … I know the two are not closely related.


  9. Bev@My Reader's Block / Dec 1 2012 3:08 pm

    What a pretty speckled chest! Love learning about the birds from you.

    Here’s my Snapshot.


  10. Alyce (@AtHomeWithBooks) / Dec 1 2012 3:21 pm

    The bird’s speckled chest is so pretty!


  11. diane / Dec 1 2012 7:32 pm

    I love his speckled chest.


  12. Paulita / Dec 1 2012 9:06 pm

    That first shot is caldendar material. Here’s Mine


    • Leslie / Dec 2 2012 7:00 pm

      Yeah, one of these days I’m going to create a calendar!


  13. Wrighty / Dec 1 2012 11:54 pm

    Another fascinating post! Your photo is beautiful and looks very professional! The little guy is quite handsome and I always learn so much here. 🙂


  14. Beth F / Dec 2 2012 7:54 am

    They are here year-round. I really need to work on figuring out bird photos. I suspect I need a good zoom lens.


    • Leslie / Dec 2 2012 7:03 pm

      A zoom lens changes everything. There are some high quality but inexpensive zoom lenses out there now. Mine is a Canon EF-S 55-250mm f4-5.6 IS that cost under $200 (several years ago).


  15. Jenny Q / Dec 11 2012 9:15 am

    Great pics! I love Hermit Thrushes, or “Hermies” as I call them!


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