Hermit Thrush
(Catharus guttatus)


Picture of bird
© Jukka Jantunen (flickr.com/photos/jukka_jantunen)
For additional photos and vocalizations, visit Dendroica. (Link opens in a new window.)

The Hermit Thrush is a common bird across a wide range of forest types in Canada from the east to the west coast and north beyond the 60th parallel. Populations are monitored on the breeding grounds by the Breeding Bird Survey, and the wintering grounds by the Christmas Bird Count. Considered together, these results indicate a moderate increase in population since 1970. There appear to be few current threats to the species.


Main designations for the species
DesignationStatusDateSubspecies, population
IUCN (Global)Least concern2018 
Wild Species (Canada)Secure2015 

Population status

Geographic area or populationPopulation change relative to ~1970ReliabilityStatus in relation to goal
CanadaModerate IncreaseHighAt an Acceptable Level

Population estimate

Geographic area or populationPopulation estimate
Canada> 50,000,000 adults

Distribution maps


Migration strategy, occurrence

Short-distance migrant

Responsibility for conservation

Geographic areaResponsibility based on % of global population

General nesting period in Canada

Nesting period starts between late April and early June and ends in early August, depending on the region. Before or after this period, the probability of an active nest is lower.

Conservation and management

As a species that primarily winters in the southern United States, the Hermit Thrush has not encountered the same degree of loss of wintering habitat common to other Catharus thrushes and neotropical migrant songbirds that winter in the Caribbean and South America (Jones and Donovan 1996, Dellinger et al. 2012). Considered a species that prefers forest interiors, the Hermit Thrush may be especially sensitive to loss and fragmentation of its forest habitat. The effects of forest management practices have varied (Jones and Donovan 1996, Dellinger et al. 2012); the local response to forest management may depend on specific practices and forest types for this widely distributed species.


Bird conservation region strategies

Environment and Climate Change Canada and partners have developed Bird Conservation Region Strategies in each of Canada’s Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs). In these strategies, selected species are identified as priorities for one or more of the following reasons:

  • conservation concerns (i.e., species vulnerable due to population size, distribution, population trend, abundance, or threats)
  • stewardship responsibilities (i.e., species that typify the regional avifauna or have a large proportion of their range or population in the sub-region)
  • management concerns (i.e., species that require ongoing management because of their socio-economic importance as game species, or because of their impacts on other species or habitats)
  • other concerns (i.e., species deemed a priority by regional experts for other reasons than those listed above or because they are listed as species at risk or concern at the provincial level)

Select any of the sub-regions below to view the BCR strategy for additional details.

BCRs, marine biogeographic units, and sub-regions in which the species is listed as a priority
RegionSub-region and priority type