About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Photo Share: Dispute over species of bird

I say this is a Veery, my friend says it is a Hermit Thrush. Please advise. If you like this photo, feel free to share or use. Richard

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, http://www.allaboutbirds.org, is a good website to compare different birds that look alike.

At first glance there are a few similar thrushes in the genus Catharus, but careful observation can help you tell them apart. For instance, Hermit Thrush is the only one of these species that lives in the U.S. in winter. 

Hermit Thrushes have a warm brown tail that contrasts with a duller brown back. They also habitually perform a frequent tail-lift, quickly raising the tail and slowly lowering it; no other Catharus thrush does this. The underparts are pale with distinct spots on the throat and smudged spots on the breast. With a close look you may see a thin pale eye ring (not a bold one).

The Veery  is similar to Hermit Thrush but more slender and longer-winged. Veeries have uniformly warm brown upperparts, indistinct spotting on the chest, and fairly plain faces with very little eye ring.  
Comparison of similar birds from: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Hermit_Thrush/id#similar