Hermit Thrushes have a chunky shape similar to an American Robin, but smaller. The head is round and the tail fairly long. The Hermit Thrush is rich brown on the head and back, with a distinctly warm, reddish tail. The underparts are white with dark spots on the breast and grey or brownish flanks. They have pink legs and a white eye ring. Birds in the east are more olive-brown on the upperparts; western birds are more grey-brown.

Habitat and Distribution

Their breeding habitat is coniferous or mixed woods across Canada, Alaska, and the northeastern and western United States. Hermit Thrushes migrate to southern United States and south to Central America but some remain in northern coastal US states and southern Ontario. They winter in parks and wooded suburban neighbourhoods.


It forages on the forest floor by rummaging through leaf litter or seizing insects with its bill.


The breeding season starts in May.

Calls and Songs

The call is a soft, low blackbirdlike chuck; also a rising, whiny catbirdlike wheeee. Flight call is a clear, peew. The song is flute like; begins with long, clear whistle followed by series of rather clear phrases.