This bird is shaped much like a robin, but slightly smaller. It is overall brown on head and back, with a reddish brown tail. Its breast is white with smudgy brown spots on the breast. When it flits about, it looks a bit like a sparrow but its size and color give it away. Males and females are similar in appearance.
The Hermit Thrush primarily forages on the ground or forest floor. It is a seasonal eater, consuming insects, arthropods, etc. in spring and summer, and switching to seeds and berries for the winter. Eastern populations generally nest on the ground in the forest. The male brings food to the nest and the female feeds the nestlings. This bird is known for its sweet, high pitched and complicated flutelike song.
What brings it to the SBG?
Likely food and cover during migration. The Hermit Thrush breeds in the far north, and migrates to the southern US and Mexico. At SBG it was sighted in mid-April, frequenting the forested border around the habitat.
When can I see it?
Spring or fall. In 2011 there were wintertime sightings in the State College area, but all other recorded sightings have occurred during migration season.