Whose idea was it to call these friendly guys Hermit Thrushes? Maybe on their breeding and wintering grounds they are reclusive, but in fall migration they are downright gregarious. It may be a safety-in-numbers thing going on, but I have had Hermit Thrushes literally come out to see me day after day this past week.
Early in the week on my way into work I found one Hermit Thrush who was definitely not in good shape. That’s him below, seeking solace by my shoe box which I had taken out of my bag so I could extract my cell phone and place a call for his rescue. While we waited for a Chicago Bird Collision Monitor, I took this picture, and then put him inside one a paper bag for the monitor.
If you want to do a little more reading on Hermit Thrushes follow this link to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. I just learned something from it: of all the thrush species we see in migration, Hermit Thrushes are the only ones to live in the U.S. I guess that means however far they migrate, they will just winter somewhere south of us until spring. That also explains to me why they tend to come through later than the other species and also why they seem to be taking their time before moving on.
So here are a couple more pictures of different individuals. They do seem to prefer shady spots.
Good shots Lisa! 🙂
Thanks, HJ! The birds did the work for me, really, by standing still…:-)
Great post, Lisa. I almost forgot about those little guys. Haven’t seen one for some time. And I learned something from your post, too. Isn’t it great when the birds stand still for us? 🙂
Thanks for your gracious comment, Bob. It is great when the birds stand still – I never would have gotten these pictures otherwise. But what I still can’t figure out is why they seem to want to engage me.
I think I have seen some of these in the back garden. Do they do a little backwards hop when they are scratching for bugs?
I’m trying to think if I’ve seen Hermit Thrushes do that little backstep which I associated much more with White-Throated Sparrows but I think yeah, the thrushes can do that too. They look generally plumper and have longer wing tips in proportion to their bodies than the other thrushes. Don’t know if that helps. Kudos to your amazing yard if you have Hermit Thrushes!
these are great photos of little birds..my favorites..
Thanks, Syl! They are little – I am always surprised when I see a Hermit Thrush from a distance because I often first think it’s a sparrow or something else.