Hovering Hermit Thrush!

February 13, 2013 | Greg Dodge

Hermit Thrushes are not especially adept at clinging to the sides of things the way a nuthatch, titmouse, chickadee, or even a bluebird is. Nor are they adept at hovering like a hummingbird, or perhaps a kinglet, who do quite a bit of hovering in case you didn’t know. No, Hermit Thrushes spend much of their time on the ground foraging among the leaf litter or foraging in fruit laden trees and vines. I often see a Hermit Thrush feeding on the ground beneath our feeders here at the Museum.

Last week when all of our birds feeders were covered with siskins and other hungry birds, but mostly siskins, and the ground beneath the feeders was saturated with finches, sparrows, and Morning Doves, the only relatively open feeder was the suet. Apparently finding it uncomfortably crowded beneath the feeders, one of our local hermits decided to go for the suet. Here’s some photos.

The hermit leaves its perch on the rebar support of the feeder structure en route to the suet.

Doing its best hummingbird imitation, the hermit tries to get a piece of the hot, peppery suet.


Got a piece!

Here, our hermit manages to get a grip on the wire cage surrounding the suet, all the while flapping frantically.

I watched this Hermit Thrush make several sallies forth to the suet, some successful, some not so successful. The bird finally left, I think, a bit frustrated.

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