Small and brownish like several other species of North American thrush, the Hermit Thrush (7 inches) is most easily separated from its relatives by its reddish tail. Other field marks include a black-spotted breast, pink legs, and dark eyes with thin white eye-rings. Male and female Hermit Thrushes are alike in all seasons. The Hermit Thrush breeds widely across southern Canada, Alaska, and the northern United States. This species also breeds at higher elevations in the Rocky Mountains south to Arizona and New Mexico as well as in the Appalachian Mountains south to North Carolina. The Hermit Thrush is the only small New World thrush to winter in North America, spending the winter months along the coast from Washington to California, in southern Arizona, and from the southeastern U.S. south to Mexico and Central America. Hermit Thrushes breed in numerous types of forest habitats, whether deciduous, evergreen, or a mixture of both. Populations wintering in the U.S. utilize similar habitat types as in summer, and those wintering in the tropics tend to be found at higher altitudes where the prevailing climate is similar to areas further north. Hermit Thrushes eat mainly insects during the summer, and add fruits and berries to their diet during the winter when insects are scarce. At all seasons, Hermit Thrushes may be observed foraging food while hopping along the forest floor or through the branches of trees. However, in deciduous woodlands, the Hermit Thrush is often most easily seen in winter, when the trees are bare. This species is most active during the day, but, like many migratory songbirds, this species migrates at night.
Common winter resident from October to May. Found in thick brushy areas and wood margins. Sexes are similar.