Hermit Thrush - Catharus guttatus

Hooowee, it's been quite chilly here in The Illinoise. Everything is green and blooming, but the air has had a bit of nip to it. That doesn't mean, though, that my allergies haven't been going berserkersville. Ugh.

Spring migratories are beginning to roll in, and pass through Chicago. One of the signs for me that it is truly spring is when the Hermit Thrushes begin to appear in my back yard, and I have seen a few this last week. They have unassuming brown plumage with a slightly rusty red-brown tail. They can often be seen rhythmically wagging that tail whilst perched a top a branch, or lawn chair, as in my case.

Catharus guttatus is a forest dwelling thrush that lives up to its name by being a bit secretive in nature, and preferring to forage in the forest understory for arthropods. They winter in the Southern US and Mexico, and breed in the northern reaches of the North American continent. Their vocalizations are often described as haunting, melodious, and melancholy.

Seen any interesting migratory species where you live? Happy Monday to you!


  1. Yes! Our white-throated sparrows are back just this week, singing a sweet sort of haunting little whistle from the edge of the garden.

    Also, thank you for recommending the river of no returns program. My husband and I watched it the other night... So beautiful - only wished it could have been longer, because there were so many things I'd like to have asked them! That wilderness in Idaho looks astounding... We are planning a three month x-country camping trip for the end of the summer, and I'm so excited to add this place to the schedule.

    As always, love your recent paintings.

  2. Ah yes! I love White-throated Sparrows. We've had some in our back yard here too. I usually hear them more than actually see them.

    Yay! Glad you liked River of No Return. I had the same feeling. I wanted it to be much longer too. Envious of your camping prospects.

  3. Gorgeous illustration, as usual!

  4. I love this painting. We have a lot of birds visit our backyard but I'm not sure I've ever seen a thrush.

    Speaking of lawn chairs and birds, 'our' mourning doves made us laugh yesterday. There were two of them, each perched on the end of side-by-side lounge chairs--as if one had said, you sit there dear, this one is mine. I love mourning doves. I don't know any other bird that combines goofiness and elegance so well. :)

  5. Thanks Geninne, and Keith!

    Kathleen, I love Mourning Doves too for the same reasons!

  6. Oh, this is lovely! One of my favorite recent paintings of yours, I think.

    I try to do a bit of birding during my lunch hour when it's nice out, and I was lucky enough to see a hermit thrush in the woods behind my office a couple of weeks ago—my first! But definitely not the last, now that the season is rolling on and I'm getting out more. I am used to hearing their song (and that of their Wood Thrush cousins), so it was a treat to finally spy one.

  7. Beautiful image! I have swallows in my neck of the woods. Building their amazing nests and zooming around.

  8. I love it when our barn and banks swallows return here too!

    And YAY for lunch break birding!


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