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Vermont's No. 1 of the Acts of 1941 established the Hermit Thrush, (Catharus guttatus,) as the official State Bird, effective June 1, 1941. Attaining this status was not, however, an easy flight for the bird. Among other things, it was not considered a true Vermonter because, unlike the blue jay or crow (which were favored by some legislators), the Hermit Thrush leaves Vermont during the winter in its southward migration. The record is not clear, but this bird was selected to represent Vermont, among other things, because it has a distinctive sweet call, and because it is found in all of Vermont's 14 counties. The bird's usual habitat is the ground and low branches of shrubs and trees in woodland areas.
From Office of the Secretary of State, Vermont Legislative Directory and State Manual, Biennial Session, 1993-1994, p. 12.
The hermit thrush is a medium-sized North American thrush. It is not very closely related to the other North American migrant species of Catharus, but rather to the Mexican russet nightingale-thrush.
The hermit thrush is the only member of its genus to spend the winter in North America. It changes its diet from eating nearly entirely insects in summer to one of equal parts insects and fruit in winter.
The law designating the hermit thrush as the official Vermont state bird is Section § 497. (State bird) of the Vermont Statutes, Title 1 (General Provisions) Chapter 11 (FLAG, INSIGNIA, SEAL, ETC) Section 497.
Title 1: General Provisions.
Chapter 11: FLAG, INSIGNIA, SEAL, ETC.
1 V.S.A. § 497. State bird.
§ 497. State bird
The state bird shall be the hermit thrush.
Taxonomic Hierarchy: Hermit Thrush
Kingdom: Animalia - animals
Phylum: Chordata - chordates
Subphylum: Vertebrata - vertebrates
Class: Aves - birds
Order: Passeriformes - perching birds
Family: Muscicapidae - old world flycatchers
Genus: Catharus Bonaparte, 1850 - verrys
Species: Catharus guttatus (Pallas, 1811) - hermit thrush, Zorzal cola rufa