Vermont State Bird: Interesting Facts About The Hermit Thrush

Located in the northeastern United States, New England is home to fewer than 650,000 people in the New England region of the country, making it one of the least populated states in the country.

With so few people in Vermont, there’s plenty of room for flora and fauna to thrive. Vermont’s geography and wildlife are beautiful and diverse.

Vermont is renowned for its Green Mountains, Lake Champlain, and Connecticut River valley, providing plenty of forests for the birds and bees.

Like every other state, Vermont has plenty of its state symbols, animals, and plants. Read more to learn more about these interesting facts.

What is Vermont’s Official State Bird?

The state bird of Vermont is the hermit thrush or Catharus guttatus. The Latin specific name guttatus gives us an indication of the appearance of a hermit thrush – guttatus means “spotted.”

The Vermont state bird, the hermit thrush, is an unassuming little bird that lives in coniferous or mixed woods across Canada, southern Alaska, and the western United States.

The hermit thrush migrates to wintering grounds in the south of the country, and even further to Central America.

Most often, a hermit thrush will breed and nest in forests. However, you’ll sometimes see them overwinter in parks and suburban neighborhoods, particularly if there are plenty of trees.

While the hermit thrush isn’t known for its stunning plumage or vibrant colors, its song is haunting and ethereal.

Once described as the finest sound in nature, the hermit thrush song sounds something like a flute. It’s common to hear but not see Vermont’s state bird while out on a hike in the Green Mountain state.

Why is The Hermit Thrush Selected As The Vermont State Bird?

The selection of official state birds dates back almost a hundred years, to 1927, when seven states selected state birds.

It took fifty years for all the states to designate a bird officially. State birds range from songbirds to birds of prey, and even poultry!

The hermit thrush, Catharus guttatus, is an unremarkable-looking songbird with a lovely, melancholy song.

Vermont’s state bird, the hermit thrush, lives in northern forests and open woodlands, though they can be seen all across the United States.

The state bird Vermont makes its nest on the ground or occasionally low in a tree. Their nest is cup-shaped.

Hermit thrush forage for insects and grubs on the forest floor. Catharus guttatus tend to spend much of their time rummaging through fallen foliage, and they nest on the ground. Their song is a regular occurrence in the forests of Vermont.

The Vermont state bird has a song that’s often described as mournful, beautiful, and haunting.

The hermit thrush is also commonly said to sound like a flute. The song of the Vermont state bird begins with a sustained whistle, ending in a soft echo. It’s no wonder the state bird of Vermont featured in Walt Whitman.

Catharus guttatus has a brown body with a reddish tail. The breast and underparts are paler, with brown spots on the throat.

While hiking in Vermont, keep an eye out for the state bird hopping about on the forest floor.

It can be hard to attract the Vermont state bird hermit thrush to your backyard because they rarely feed on feeders.

However, it’s common to see a hermit thrush foraging on the ground during their migration. Trees and shrubs with berries are particularly appetizing to a hungry Catharus guttatus.

What is Vermont Known For?

Symbols and Flowers

Like many states, Vermont also has other official symbols, including state insects, butterflies, mammals, reptiles, dinosaurs, and state flowers.

Along with the hermit thrush, Vermont state symbols include the northern leopard frog, the morgan horse, the monarch butterfly, the brook trout, the painted turtle, and the walleye.

The sugar maple, apple pie, an apple, and milk are also Vermont state symbols, although a little less well known. The state flower of Vermont is red clover.

Natural Beauty

Vermont’s 14 counties are known for their outstanding natural beauty. From hiking and camping to kayaking and skiing, Vermont has it all.

Much of Vermont is made up of mountains, rolling hills, and miles and miles of forest. With so much forest floor full of berries and bugs, the Vermont state bird hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus) is one happy camper.

Along with natural beauty, Vermont is renowned for its local history. Vermont was a key location during the American Revolutionary War.

There are plenty of battle and war memorials dotted through the stunning landscape and over six hundred iconic covered bridges.

Natural Parks

With just over half a million inhabitants, it’s not hard to get away from the crowds in Vermont.

While traveling through Vermont, you’ll have plenty of chances to spot a hermit thrush in either of the national parks in the state.

Vermont is home to the Appalachian National Scenic Trail and Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park.

The Appalachian National Scenic Trail is famous for its beautiful forests, stretching all the way through the state.

The Appalachian Trail runs from Maine all the way to Georgia.

The Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park is a managed forest, dairy, and historical home.

With over 640 acres, you’ll have plenty of chances to spot a Vermont state bird hermit thrush.

While in Vermont, you can also swing by the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream factory for a tour, visit the Cabot Creamery, and plenty of other amazing museums and visitor centers.

What is Vermont’s State Nickname?

Vermont is known as the Green Mountain State. Unsurprisingly, the local mountain ranges, which dominate the state’s geography, have made the state famous. They’ve even made it onto Vermont’s license plates.

Vermont is renowned as a global destination for skiers and snowboarders.

Vermont’s Green Mountains are also popular places for hikers and anyone who loves nature.

During the late summer and fall, the deciduous trees change color and make stunning views no matter where you go.

If you’re on the hunt for an official state bird hermit thrush, you’re guaranteed to see some beautiful scenery.

Julian Goldie - Owner of

Julian Goldie

I'm a bird enthusiast and creator of Chipper Birds, a blog sharing my experience caring for birds. I've traveled the world bird watching and I'm committed to helping others with bird care. Contact me at [email protected] for assistance.