Spring is the season of birdsong, a time when birds sing to attract mates, announce territories or maybe just to celebrate the day. If beauty in birds were judged by sound alone, the Hermit Thrush would a winner. Equipped with a double voice box, this bird can harmonize with himself. His high-pitched, flute-like songs echo through our summer forests with a haunting quality. This bird is often the first heard singing in the morning and the last at night.

Most of the time, Hermit Thrushes are found on the forest floor, hopping in leaf litter to uncover the insects, spiders and other invertebrates. They perch low on shrubs or logs, flicking their wings and raising and lowering their long, reddish tails. Aside from their song, these reddish tails are the best way to tell Hermits apart from other thrushes.

In summer, Hermit Thrushes are widely distributed across North America and can be found in our forests from May into October. They winter south of the snow line in our southern states, Mexico, and Central America.

Take a trip to the woods, turn off the noise of the city and celebrate spring with the songs of birds.

Hermit Thrush.
Hermit Thrush. Photo: Ann Kramer/Audubon Photography Awards

Bird of the Week is brought to you by Audubon Rockies and Weminuche Audubon Society.

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