Hermit Thrush

Catharus guttatus

Hermit Thrush


Hermit thrushes have short, rounded bodies and their wingspan is an average of 25 centimetres. They have a white ring around their eyes, a white-spotted chest and red tail feathers.

Range & Habitat

In the winter, hermit thrushes are found in the US, Mexico and southern Canada. In summer, they migrate to Alaska, Canada and the northern US to breed. They mostly live in forests and openings, often near water.

Diet & Behaviour

They eat insects, amphibians, lizards and plants. They are very territorial birds, and the males protect the nesting sites before the females arrive. When hermit thrushes are perching, they flick their tails and wings, and chirp a beautiful and complicated song.

Lifecycle & Threats

The female builds a nest from mosses and twigs, and lays from three to six eggs. She may lay up to three different batches of eggs starting in the spring. The eggs hatch after about 12 days and the female takes care of the young while the male brings food to the nest. Hermit thrushes can live for over eight years. Their main threat is from predators, including larger birds, snakes and mammals.


COSEWIC: Not at Risk
CDC: Yellow

More Information


Photo: David A Hoffman