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Hermit Thrushes Nesting

5-21-13 hermit thrush nest 222Hermit thrushes, Vermont’s state bird, are typically ground nesters east of the Rocky Mountains (west of them, they tend to nest off the ground) and often, as in this case, choose a nest site that is in a patch of Lycopodium, or ground pine. Usually a branch from a nearby tree, a fern, or some other taller vegetation provides cover and effectively conceals the nest. The female hermit thrush builds the nest and begins incubation after the last of her three or four eggs is laid. Twelve days later the eggs hatch, and twelve or thirteen days after that the young fledge.

2 responses

  1. catherine fisher

    Lovely. I’ve never noticed a hermit thrush nest in Lycopodium before (but never knew to look among them). On quite a few occasions, however, I’ve found them nesting beneath remnant stands of juniper. Many of the woods around here are young growing in what once were over-grazed pastures. Where the light is dappled enough the sun-loving junipers, though quite sparse and scraggly, provide a good, prickly cover for the nesting birds.

    May 21, 2013 at 12:53 pm

  2. Sally Jones

    The first time I heard a hermit thrush, I knew nothing at all about birds, and I thought…hey, that must be a nightingale ! One sang every evening in the woods at my old home in Hampden, Maine. It’s my absolute favorite bird song….. I had no idea that it was the Vermont State Bird….I’m now seriously considering moving to Vermont…

    May 24, 2013 at 12:59 am

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