There are a number of reasons why I decided to take on this project. My first reason has to do with my interest in birds. This began shortly after moving to Victoria ten and a half years ago. With our house backing onto a wooded area, the chirping of birds is a familiar sound all year long. I often glance out the window to see birds of all forms in the yard throughout the day. Frequently I will pull out the Birds of Victoria or Birds of North America reference guides we have on hand. Unfortunately, the drawings in the first aren’t overly helpful for identification and the number of entries in the second is overwhelming. My second reason has to do with a photography course I took a number of years ago. Since that time I have been trying to think of a practical reason to buy a new camera. Taking pictures of birds requires a powerful zoom lens which my previous point-and-shoot camera could not accommodate. Perfect! My final reason was my desire to take on a new project to welcome in 2011. Hence, bird of the day was born.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Hermit Thrush

Catharus guttatus

Brown upperparts
Reddish-brown tail
White underparts with dark spots on breast
Grey sides
White eye-ring

Listen to its song.

I was on my way to the local beach today to photograph shorebirds when this little guy hopped across the road in front of my car. Much to the dismay of the gentleman behind me, I slammed on the brakes and quickly pulled over to the side of the road in order to get a picture. (Who would have thought blogging could be such a dangerous pursuit)?  It was raining fairly hard and, not wanting to get my new camera wet, I took these photos through the open window of the car. Furthermore, to avoid startling any more drivers, I didn't attempt to follow the bird as it continued to hop into the bushes. Unfortunately, I was unable to get many shots off before this happened, making it difficult for me to identify the bird with any certainty. Originally, I had identified it as an orange-crowned warbler. However, upon further investigation, I have discovered it to be a hermit thrush, albeit a rather sickly looking one. Thanks to the fellow at Wild Birds Unlimited for his help with the identification; he was a wealth of information.

Learn more about the Hermit Thrush.

Additional photos:


  1. Is the bird on the right also an orange warbler? Did you see him too?

  2. Yes. Both pictures in today's post are of the same bird.