The Hermit Thrushes

A hermit thrush in the woods in Jester Park, Iowa, April 22, 2018.

The sound of beating wings and rustling leaves announced his presence in the woods on Sunday morning. He zigzagged across the ground, hopped on fallen trees, and flew up to low tree branches pausing every so often to look around.

The hermit thrushes travel through the area in the spring on the way to their summer homes. They are in the same family as the eastern bluebirds and the American robins. They are slightly smaller than the bluebirds. They earn their name by quiet and shy behavior.

April 22, 2018

A hermit thrush in the woods in Jester Park, Iowa, April 22, 2018.

A hermit thrush in the woods in Jester Park, Iowa, April 22, 2018.

A hermit thrush in the woods in Jester Park, Iowa, April 22, 2018.

An American robin in the woods in Jester Park, Iowa, April 22, 2018.

April 23, 2018

A hermit thrush in the woods in Jester Park, Iowa, April 23, 2018.

Take care and thanks for reading.

Sarah

About Sarah

nature, outdoor, and health enthusiast, book reader, and story teller
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14 Responses to The Hermit Thrushes

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Belinda πŸ™‚
      Thanks for visiting and your kindness! I am happy you enjoyed seeing the little hermit thrushes. πŸ™‚ They were fun to watch. They were trying hard to be inconspicuous. I saw them last year this time so I was looking for them. I stood still in the woods and waited. Sure enough. A little movement gave one away and then soon there were at least four quietly looking for food in the woods next to the path.

  1. Shady_Grady says:

    They are quiet and shy but apparently not quiet enough. πŸ™‚
    Great pics, Sarah!

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Shady πŸ™‚
      Thanks for visiting and your kindness! Not quite quiet enough. πŸ™‚ It would have been fun to have a sound recording of the beating of their wings and the rustling of the leaves as they search for food. I might try this if I see them when I go out this weekend. They move quickly so I didn’t manage a video. It was interesting to watch them. I saw at least six on Sunday and 3 on Monday. Since spring has been late, the leaves are only just beginning on the trees and there is more light in the woods than when I saw them last year.

  2. These seem tiny thrushes and not found in Europe. Really cute and yet again such clear photographs. You give me quite an insight into your local wildlife. Thanks.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Georgina πŸ™‚
      Thanks for visiting and your kindness! They are cute little birds. πŸ™‚ They are relatively quiet and blend in well. I was lucky to see them that day. They don’t spend the summer here and were traveling through. I haven’t seen any in the visits since them. I think it is interesting to look at the features of the birds for similarities. From the side and the back, they look like their bluebird cousins. From the front especially when their head is tilted up, they look like their American robin cousins. The second photo is very much a robin pose. πŸ™‚

      • Interesting to know where they travel to. That is probably the case for some of the birds that come to our bird table or rock.
        We’ve had flycatchers in the Autumn and bullfinches in March and then they do not reappear.

        • Sarah says:

          The bird book I have (Peterson Field Guide to North American Birds) says the hermit thrushes like to nest in coniferous and mixed wood forests. Their summer range is in Canada and the eastern and western northern US where there are forests. This area was almost all prairie before the settlers arrived. Now, it is mainly farms. There are woods along the rivers which is what the woods in Jester Park are. There are some tall old trees in the woods in the park so I don’t think the land was farmed. It is right by the river and hilly. It is an interesting question about why each bird decides to nest where they do. The excitement the last few days is that the barn swallows are back. πŸ™‚ I saw them flying over the weekend and, yesterday, I heard their distinctive chattering outside of my window. There is a barn swallow nest that the apartment folks haven’t taken down which is up near the ceiling in the hallway outside of my door. It is on the opposite side of the living room wall up in the corner. The last two years, I have had the delight of watching the little barn swallows grow and fly out of their nests. They grow really quickly. The bugs must be full of nutrition. It doesn’t make me want to eat the bugs, however. πŸ™‚ I love watching the barn swallows fly and when they gather on the telephone wires all in a row and chatter to one another.

          • So the little birds are off North for good food and nests. Interesting and hope severe weather doesn’t affect them. You are so lucky to have a barn swallow nearby. We were investigated by red rumped swallows last year flying under our porch but they were quite right it would have been too hot in the heat of the summer. In Portugal I follow the house martins and they have arrived late this year but have found some of their old nest sites. With new buildings and some strange sense of cleaning up many places discourage their mud built nests. Once this place in Cabanas was a fishing village and I think then no one bothered about having their nests. As to where these birds go at present no one seems to know where innAfrica it might be. I think they are too small to satellite tag. This has helped conservation of some birds,particularly our Ospreys.

            • Sarah says:

              It would have been fun to have the swallows on your property. πŸ™‚ It is interesting how the birds know how to pick where they put their nests. It is very impressive that the little swallows fly so far each year. I wonder if the ones that come back here are the same ones I saw growing up last year. When they have young ones in the nest, they perch on the railing and the light right outside of my door. They let me get pretty far up the stairs before they fly off. I live on the second story and there is a small landing outside of the door between my apartment and the one across the way. The nests which they try to build under the landing get removed by the apartment people. So far, they have left the high nest alone. I hope they do this year. Last year, the swallows reinforced the nest that was there from the previous year and built it a little higher. I saw an osprey this year for the first time. He was too far away for photos, but was an impressive sight! I didn’t realize he was an osprey until I looked him up when I got home. I knew he wasn’t one of the hawks that I usually see.

              • We need to create a an old barn! In Cabanas the house martins choose ledges on property on the north side, usually but those on the sea front are nearest the mud and perhaps cool breezes. It disappoints and angers me when some people cannot tolerate a little mess but it is against the law here to take down nests. Ospreys are marvellous and we have seen how the conservation programme in the U.K. Has helped their recovery. In my novel, the character is a ‘real’ osprey named by the Welsh wildlife Trust and we saw these at close quarters some years ago. I hope they have begun to return from their journey, Senegal, I think, in West Africa. I follow them on Facebook!

                • Sarah says:

                  It is fun that you can follow the osprey’s journey on Facebook. πŸ™‚ I don’t know where the osprey I saw was going or had come from. It was in a tree by the pond next to the lake watching the water. I haven’t seen one there before. I have my eyes open for them now. πŸ™‚ I think a structure for the swallows sounds like a great idea. They would have a home and you would have the fun of watching them and their offspring. πŸ™‚

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