This week’s Bird of the Week, compliments of the Weminuche Audubon Society and Audubon Rockies, is the hermit thrush.
Spring is the season of birdsong, when birds sing to attract mates, announce territories or maybe just to celebrate the day. If beauty in birds is judged by sound alone, the hermit thrush is a winner. Equipped with a double voice box, this bird can harmonize with itself. His high-pitched, flute-like songs echo through our summer forests with a haunting quality. This bird is often the first bird heard singing in the morning and the last at night.
Most of the time, this unobtrusive bird is found on the forest floor, hopping in leaf litter to uncover the insects, spiders and other invertebrates in its diet. It perches low on shrubs or logs, flicking its wings and raising and lowering its long, reddish tail. Appearing similar to, but smaller than a robin, this bird is brown above with a whitish underside covered with dark spots on the breast and throat. A thin, white ring surrounds its eye.
In summer, the hermit thrush is widely distributed across North America and can be found in our forests from May into October. It winters 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.
For information on bird-watching events, visit www.weminucheaudubon.org and www.facebook.com/weminucheaudubon/.