Destinations Magazine

Hermit Thrush Hides In Lilac Bush In Toronto Backyard – Ontario

By Frame To Frame - Bob And Jean @frametoframebJ

hermit thrush - sits in tree - toronto - ontario

A couple of weeks ago, as I went about cleaning up the dishes after breakfast, out of the corner of my eye I saw a blur fly past the patio door and make a sharp veer to the left.  I was grateful that the bird hadn’t been fooled into flying into the window’s reflection.  I was keen to locate it in my backyard and thrilled when the bird turned out to be a Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus).

hermit thrush - -- - toronto - ontario

When first I espied the Hermit Thrush, I thought it was a fledgling American Robin, being of similar colouring,  but the olive-brown plumage and whitish eye-ring is what made it possible to distinguish between those two species.

hermit thrush -  among in tree limbs - toronto - ontario

I was extremely excited to see a Hermit Thrush in MY backyard.  These birds are very special to me.  Many years ago, when Bob and I were camping with one of our sons at Lake St. Peter Provincial Park, we were serenaded every morning by a number of these birds that lived in the coniferous forest there.  Rousing us from our slumbers each day were the musical flutey tunes of these plain little songbirds.

hermit thrush - profile - toronto - ontario

As I watched and waited, the Hermit Thrush enjoyed the shade in amongst the lilac branches, not seeming to mind all the attention it was garnering from Bob and me.

As you will see in Bob’s video, the Hermit Thrush just calmly sat hidden away from predators.

hermit thrush - gives a look  - toronto - ontario

It was rather surprising to see a Hermit Thrush in Toronto at this time of the year as I think of them more as an inhabitant of northern forests, but I was more than pleased to welcome it to my garden.  I fervently hoped that it would break into song.

hermit thrush -  in tree - toronto - ontario

Hermit Thrushes are believed to be the finest singers of North American birds.  Their ethereal music, with clear bell-like tones, is especially effective in the quiet of a northern woods on a summer evening.

If you would like to hear the song of a Hermit Thrush, then have a listen to this YouTube video.

hermit thrush - looks to camera - toronto - ontario

In the world of birds, a Hermit Thrush is considered to be closely related to a Mexican Russet Nightingale-thrush.  Perhaps that is why it sings such a melodic tune.  In any case, the thrush in my backyard remained in the lilac tree for close to 30 minutes before taking flight.  I wonder if I’ll ever be graced by its presence again.  I sure hope so.

Checkout some of our other blog postings

Wild Vicuna in the Andes Mountains


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Gorse growing along road - Lackandarragh Lower - Wicklow - Ireland


Frame To Frame – Bob & Jean

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