High in the mountains of the West and North, where the long summer days stay cool, the song of the Hermit Thrush stands out. The song has been described as "ethereal," "serene," or "flutelike." Writer Ralph Hoffman writes about the song of the Hermit Thrush: "It is the opening note that gives the performance the effect of a chant of sacred music. None of the other fine performers among the mountain birds . . . has the same spiritual quality of tone, or gives the effect of religious ecstasy."
Hermit Thrush: Ethereal Singer
Written by Bob Sundstrom
This is BirdNote!
[Hermit Thrush song]
High in the western mountains and the forests of the north, where even the long summer days stay cool, a beautiful song echoes [Hermit Thrush song]. Here the evergreens are narrowly tapered, like a forest of cathedral spires. Singing atop one spire is a Hermit Thrush. [Hermit Thrush song]
The Hermit Thrush is modest in appearance, and roughly robin-shaped, though smaller. Mostly brown, the thrush has a rust-colored tail and pale breast, dappled with black spots. Clearly, the bird’s most distinguished attribute is its song. [Hermit Thrush song]
Even within the thrush family, which includes many highly renowned singers, the Hermit Thrush stands out. Its song has been described as “ethereal,” “serene,” or “flutelike.” [Hermit Thrush song]
Naturalist Ralph Hoffman wrote, “It is the opening note that gives the performance the effect of a chant of sacred music. None of the other fine performers among the mountain birds … has the same spiritual quality of tone, or gives the effect of religious ecstasy.”
High praise indeed for a small brown bird. [Hermit Thrush song]
Song of the Hermit Thrush provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Recorded by G.A. Keller.
BirdNote's theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and produced by John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2015 Tune In to Nature.org June 2017/2020 Narrator: Mary McCann
Quotation from: Hoffman, Ralph. Birds of the Pacific States. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1927, p. 256.