Boreal Birds
300+ species, billions of birds rely on Canada's boreal forest as critical breeding grounds
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Veery

Veery
Catharus fuscescens
Perching Birds | Family: Thrushes, Turdidae

An estimated 32% of the species' North American population breeds within the Boreal Forest.

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Overview

The Veery, a secretive bird, lives in dense shade. The beautiful song of the Veery sounds best at dusk, as it echoes through the deepening gloom of the forest. The bird is rather difficult to see, but it can be lured into view by an imitation of the squeaking of a bird in distress. Its diet is evenly divided between insects obtained on the ground and fruit. It migrates at night, the flock keeping together in dark skies by means of a "contact call" characteristic of the species. Experiments on other thrushes show that their vision in shade or twilight is better than that of most other birds.

Description

6 1/2 -71/4" (16-18 cm). Smaller than a robin. Uniform cinnamon-brown or rufous-olive above, with faint spotting on upper breast. Other thrushes in the genus Catharus are more heavily spotted below.

Voice

Song a rich downward spiral with an ethereal quality; call note a descending whew.

Nesting

4 blue-green eggs in a bulky cup of moss, plant fibers, and leaves, placed on the ground in a clump of grass or ferns or a few feet off the ground in a shrub.

Habitat

Moist deciduous woodlands; willow thickets along streams in the West.

Range/Migration

Breeds from southern British Columbia east to Newfoundland and south to Arizona, South Dakota, Minnesota, New Jersey, and in mountains to Georgia. Winters in tropics.