Vermont State Bird - Hermit Thrush


Hermit Thrush

(Catharus guttatus)
Adopted on June 1, 1941.

No. 1 of the Acts of 1941 established the Hermit Thrush as the official State Bird, effective June 1, 1941. Attaining this status was not, however, an easy flight for Catharus guttatus. Among other things, it was not considered a true Vermonter because, unlike the blue jay or crow (which were favored by some legislators), the Hermit Thrush leaves Vermont during the winter in its southward migration. The record is not clear, but this bird was selected to represent Vermont, among other things, because it has a distinctive sweet call, and because it is found in all of Vermont's 14 counties. The bird's usual habitat is the ground and low branches of shrubs and trees in woodland areas.

From Office of the Secretary of State, Vermont Legislative Directory and State Manual, Biennial Session, 1993-1994, p. 12.
  • Length: 6 inches
  • Eastern United States have olive-brown upperparts-gray-brown in western birds
  • White eye ring
  • Dark spots on breast
  • Underparts white with brownish to grayish flanks
  • Pink legs
  • Thin bill with pale base to lower mandible
  • Sexes similar
  • Often forages on forest floor
  • Distinctive song
  • Only brown-backed thrush to regularly winter in the United States
  • Migrates earlier in Spring and later in Fall than similar-looking thrushes
Kingdom Animalia -- animals
   Phylum Chordata -- chordates
      Subphylum Vertebrata -- vertebrates
         Class Aves -- birds
            Order Passeriformes -- perching birds
               Family Muscicapidae -- old world flycatchers
                  Genus Catharus Bonaparte, 1850 -- verrys
                     Species Catharus guttatus (Pallas, 1811) -- hermit thrush, Zorzal cola rufa
                        Subspecies Catharus guttatus guttatus (Pallas, 1811)