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Montana Field Guides

Hermit Thrush - Catharus guttatus

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Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5B

Agency Status
USFWS:
USFS:
BLM:
FWP Conservation Tier: 3
PIF:


 

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Copyright by: The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, all rights reserved.
 
General Description
Upperparts, sides of neck, tertials, and upperwing-coverts cinnamon brown. Rump brighter cinnamon, uppertail-coverts and tail rufous brown, contrastingly brighter than remainder of upperparts. Spot in front of eye dull black; stripe over eye grayish olive brown. Ear-coverts dark olive brown, narrowly streaked pale buff. Indistinct pale buff eye-ring. Lower cheeks, chin, and throat pale buff or cream; distinct dull black malar stripe down sides of throat. Ground color of chest pale cream buff. Sides of breast, flanks, and sides of vent pale olive brown or buff brown, merging into white on central belly and vent; undertail-coverts cream buff, pale buff, or buff white.

General Distribution
Montana Range



Western Hemisphere Range

 


Summary of Observations Submitted for Montana
Number of Observations: 5115

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density

Recency

Breeding
(direct evidence "B")


Breeding
(indirect evidence "b")


No evidence of Breeding
(transient "t")


Overwintering
(regular observations "W")


Overwintering
(at least one obs. "w")



 

(Records associated with a range of dates are excluded from time charts)



Migration
In the Bozeman area, normal migration periods are not discernible.

Habitat
Species prefers interior forest edges such as margins of ponds and edges of meadows in forested areas.

Ecological Systems Associated with this Species
  • Details on Creation and Suggested Uses and Limitations
    How Associations Were Made
    We associated the use and habitat quality (high, medium, or low) of each of the 82 ecological systems mapped in Montana for vertebrate animal species that regularly breed, overwinter, or migrate through the state by:
    1. Using personal observations and reviewing literature that summarize the breeding, overwintering, or migratory habitat requirements of each species (Dobkin 1992, Hart et al. 1998, Hutto and Young 1999, Maxell 2000, Foresman 2001, Adams 2003, and Werner et al. 2004);
    2. Evaluating structural characteristics and distribution of each ecological system relative to the species’ range and habitat requirements;
    3. Examining the observation records for each species in the state-wide point database associated with each ecological system;
    4. Calculating the percentage of observations associated with each ecological system relative to the percent of Montana covered by each ecological system to get a measure of “observations versus availability of habitat”.
    Species that breed in Montana were only evaluated for breeding habitat use, species that only overwinter in Montana were only evaluated for overwintering habitat use, and species that only migrate through Montana were only evaluated for migratory habitat use.  In general, species were associated as using an ecological system if structural characteristics of used habitat documented in the literature were present in the ecological system or large numbers of point observations were associated with the ecological system.  However, species were not associated with an ecological system if there was no support in the literature for use of structural characteristics in an ecological system, even if point observations were associated with that system.  High, medium, and low habitat quality was assigned based on the degree to which the structural characteristics of an ecological system matched the preferred structural habitat characteristics for each species in the literature.  The percentage of observations associated with each ecological system relative to the percent of Montana covered by each ecological system was also used to guide assignments of habitat quality.  If you have any questions or comments on species associations with ecological systems, please contact Bryce Maxell at bmaxell@mt.gov or (406) 444-3655.

    Suggested Uses and Limitations
    Species associations with ecological systems should be used to generate potential lists of species that may occupy broader landscapes for the purposes of landscape-level planning.  These potential lists of species should not be used in place of documented occurrences of species (this information can be requested at: http://mtnhp.org/requests/default.asp) or systematic surveys for species and evaluations of habitat at a local site level by trained biologists.  Users of this information should be aware that the land cover data used to generate species associations is based on imagery from the late 1990s and early 2000s and was only intended to be used at broader landscape scales.  Land cover mapping accuracy is particularly problematic when the systems occur as small patches or where the land cover types have been altered over the past decade.  Thus, particular caution should be used when using the associations in assessments of smaller areas (e.g., evaluations of public land survey sections).  Finally, although a species may be associated with a particular ecological system within its known geographic range, portions of that ecological system may occur outside of the species’ known geographic range.

    Literature Cited
    • Adams, R.A.  2003.  Bats of the Rocky Mountain West; natural history, ecology, and conservation.  Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado.  289 p.
    • Dobkin, D. S.  1992.  Neotropical migrant land birds in the Northern Rockies and Great Plains. USDA Forest Service, Northern Region. Publication No. R1-93-34.  Missoula, MT.
    • Foresman, K.R.  2001.  The wild mammals of Montana.  Special Publication No. 12.  Lawrence, KS: The American Society of Mammalogists.  278 p.
    • Hart, M.M., W.A. Williams, P.C. Thornton, K.P. McLaughlin, C.M. Tobalske, B.A. Maxell, D.P. Hendricks, C.R. Peterson, and R.L. Redmond. 1998.  Montana atlas of terrestrial vertebrates.  Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit, University of Montana, Missoula, MT.  1302 p.
    • Hutto, R.L. and J.S. Young.  1999.  Habitat relationships of landbirds in the Northern Region, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station RMRS-GTR-32.  72 p.
    • Maxell, B.A.  2000.  Management of Montana’s amphibians: a review of factors that may present a risk to population viability and accounts on the identification, distribution, taxonomy, habitat use, natural history, and the status and conservation of individual species.  Report to U.S. Forest Service Region 1.  Missoula, MT: Wildlife Biology Program, University of Montana.  161 p.
    • Werner, J.K., B.A. Maxell, P. Hendricks, and D. Flath.  2004.  Amphibians and reptiles of Montana.  Missoula, MT: Mountain Press Publishing Company. 262 p.

Food Habits
During breeding diet consists mostly of animal matter, especially insects and other small invertebrates. During migration and winter, diet supplemented by wide variety of fruits.

Ecology
Territory sizes of 5.1 to 5.6 acres in Douglas-fir or lodgepole pine forests in western Montana have been reported.

Reproductive Characteristics
Two, occasionally three broods consisting of four eggs per brood. Incubation period 12 to 13 days. Young able to fly twelve days after hatch.

References
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View WorldCat Record   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • American Ornithologists' Union. 1998. Check-list of North American birds. 7th edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. 829 pp.
    • Aney, W.C. 1984. The effects of patch size on bird communities of remnant old-growth pine stands in western Montana. M.S. Thesis, Univ. Montana, Missoula. 98 pp.
    • Bailey, A.M. and R.J. Niedrach. 1965. Birds of Colorado. Denver Museum of Natural History. 895 pp.
    • Bock, C.E. and J.F. Lynch. 1970. Breeding bird populations of burned and unburned coniferous forest in Sierra Nevada. Condor 72: 182-189.
    • Dilger, W.C. 1956a. Hostile behavior and reproductive isolating mechanisms in the avian genera Catharus and Hylocichla. Auk 73: 313-353.
    • Dilger, W.C. 1956b. Adaptive modifications and ecological isolating mechanisms in the thrush genera Catharus and Hylocichla. Wilson Bull. 68: 171-199.
    • Dobkin, D. S. 1992. Neotropical migrant landbirds in the Northern Rockies and Great Plains. U.S.D.A. For. Serv. N. Region Publ. R1-93-34. Missoula, Mont.
    • Dobkin, D.S. 1994. Conservation and management of neotropical migrant landbirds in the Northern Rockies and Great Plains. Univ. Idaho Press, Moscow, Idaho. 220 pp.
    • Ehrlich, P., D. Dobkin, and D. Wheye. 1988. The birder’s handbook: a field guide to the natural history of North American birds. Simon and Schuster Inc. New York. 785 pp.
    • Eng, Robert. L., 1976?, Wildlife Baseline Study [for West Fork of the Stillwater and Picket Pin drainages]
    • Flack, J.A.D. 1976. Bird populations of aspen forests in western North America. Ornith. Monogr. 19. 97pp.
    • Hejl, S.J. and R.E. Woods. 1991. Bird assemblages in old-growth and rotation-aged Douglas-fir/ponderosa pine stands in the northern Rocky Mountains: a preliminary assessment. Pages 285-292 in D. M. Baumgartner and J. E. Lotan, eds. Symposium proceedings, interior Douglas-fir: the species and its management. Wash. State Univ., Pullman.
    • Hejl, S.J., R.L. Hutto, C.R. Preston, and D.M. Finch. 1995. Effects of silvicultural treatments in the Rocky Mountains. In: T. E. Martin and D. M. Finch, eds. Ecology and Management of Neotropical Migratory Birds. Oxford Univ. Press, New York. pp.220-244.
    • Hutto, R. L. 1995. Composition of bird communities following stand-replacement fires in Northern Rocky Mountain (U.S.A.) conifer forests. Conservation Biology 9: 1041-1058.
    • Hutto, R. L. and J. S. Young. 1999. Habitat relationships of landbirds in the Northern Region, USDA Forest Service. General Technical Report RMRS-GTR-32. U. S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, and Rocky Mountain Research Station, Ogden, UT. 72 pp.
    • Johns, B. W. 1993. The influence of grove size on bird species richness in aspen parklands. Wilson Bull. 105: 256-264.
    • Johnsgard, P. A. 1992. Birds of the Rocky Mountains with particular reference to national parks in the northern Rocky Mountain region. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. xi + 504 pp.
    • Johnsgard, P.A. 1979. Birds of the Great Plains: breeding species and their distribution. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln. 539 pp.
    • Jones, P.W. and T.M. Donovan. 1996. Hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus). In A. Poole and F. Gill (eds.), The Birds of North America, No. 261. Philadelphia: The Academy of Natural Sciences; Washington D.C.: The American Ornithologists Union.
    • Keller, M.E. and S.H. Anderson. 1992. Avian use of habitat configurations created by forest cutting in southeastern Wyoming. Condor 94: 55-65.
    • Lenard, S., J. Carlson, J. Ellis, C. Jones, and C. Tilly. 2003. P. D. Skaar's Montana Bird Distribution, 6th Edition. Montana Audubon: Helena, MT, 144 pp.
    • Mack, Diane Evans, and Wang Yong. 2000. Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus). Species Account Number 540. The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca, NY: Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology; Retrieved 3/25/2008 from The Birds of North America Online database
    • Mannan, R.W. and E.C. Meslow. 1984. Bird populations and vegetation characteristics in managed and old-growth forests, northeastern Oregon. J. Wildl. Manage. 48(4): 1219-1238.
    • Manuwal, D. 1968. Breeding bird populations in the coniferous forests of western Montana. M.S. thesis. University of Montana, Missoula. 176 pp.
    • Montana Bird Distribution Committee. 2012. P.D. Skaar's Montana bird distribution. 7th Edition. Montana Audubon, Helena, Montana. 208 pp. + foldout map.
    • OEA Research, Helena, MT., 1982, Beal Mine Wildlife Report. June 17, 1982.
    • Salt, G.W. 1957. An analysis of avifaunas in the Teton Mountains and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Condor 59: 373-393.
    • Salt, W.R. and J.R. Salt. 1976. The birds of Alberta. Hurtig Publishers, Edmonton, Alberta. xv + 498 pp.
    • Terres, J.K. 1980. The Audubon Society encyclopedia of North American birds. Alfred A. Knopf, New York. 1109 pp.
    • U.S. Forest Service. 1991. Forest and rangeland birds of the United States: Natural history and habitat use. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service Agricultural Handbook 688. 625 pages.
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Citation for data on this website:
Hermit Thrush — Catharus guttatus.  Montana Field Guide.  Montana Natural Heritage Program and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.  Retrieved on July 25, 2014, from http://FieldGuide.mt.gov/detail_ABPBJ18110.aspx
 
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