The echoing fluted melody within the forests now is the hermit thrush (Cartharus guttatus). A mostly rust-brown bird of the forest floor that builds its nest from pine needles, grass, and wood bark held together with mud and lichen and lined with willow catkins. Three to six light-blue eggs hatch in 11 to 13 days, and the chicks leave the nest in 10 to 15 days after being fed wasps, beetles, ants and caterpillars gleaned from under leaves on the forest floor.

Walt Whitman refers to the hermit thrush as the symbol of poetic voice of America in his eulogy of Abraham Lincoln, “When Lilacs last in the Dooryard Bloom.”

A group of thrushes are referred to as a “mutation” or a “hermitage.”

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