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Catharus fuscescens CT.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Turdidae
Genus: Catharus
Species: C. fuscescens
Binomial name
Catharus fuscescens
(Stephens, 1817)
Catharus fuscescens map.svg
Veery range      Breeding range     Wintering range

Hylocichla fuscescens

The veery (Catharus fuscescens) is a small North American thrush species, a member of a group of closely related and similar species in the genus Catharus, also including the gray-cheeked thrush (C. minimus) and Bicknell's thrush (C. bicknelli).[2] Alternate names for this species include Wilson's thrush (named so after Alexander Wilson[3]) and tawny thrush.[4]

Juvenile, banded near Montreal, Canada


This species measures 16–19.5 cm (6.3–7.7 in) in length. Its mass is 26–39 g (0.92–1.38 oz), exceptionally up to 54 g (1.9 oz). The wingspan averages 28.5 cm (11.2 in).[5] Each wing measures 8.9–10.4 cm (3.5–4.1 in), the bill measures 1.2–1.9 cm (0.47–0.75 in) and the tarsus is 2.7–3.25 cm (1.06–1.28 in).[6] The veery shows the characteristic underwing stripe of Catharus thrushes. Adults are mainly light brown on the upperparts. The underparts are white; the breast is light tawny with faint brownish spots. Veeries have pink legs and a poorly defined eye ring. Birds in the eastern portions of the species' breeding range are more cinnamon on the upperparts; western birds are more olive-brown. In the east, the veery is distinguished easily by its coloration; distinguishing western veeries from other Catharus thrushes is more difficult.[7]

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This bird has a breezy, downward-spiralling, flute-like song, often given from a low and concealed perch. The most common call is a harsh, descending vee-er, which gave the bird its name.


The breeding habitat is humid deciduous forest across southern Canada and the northern United States. These birds migrate to eastern South America. They are very rare vagrants to western Europe.

They forage on the forest floor, flipping leaves to uncover insects; they may fly up to catch insects in flight. They mainly eat insects and berries.

They make a cup nest on the ground or near the base of a shrub. This bird has been displaced in some parts of its range by the related wood thrush (Hylocichla mustelina). Veeries are occasional hosts for the eggs of brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater).


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Catharus fuscescens". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Winker & Pruett (2006)
  3. ^ "Wilson's thrush". American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition. Retrieved 2015-03-19. 
  4. ^ "John J. Audubon's Birds of America". 
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ Thrushes by Peter Clement. Princeton University Press (2001), ISBN 978-0691088525
  7. ^ [2]


  • Winker, Kevin & Pruett, Christin L. (2006): Seasonal migration, speciation, and morphological convergence in the avian genus Catharus (Turdidae). Auk 123(4): 1052-1068. [Article in English with Spanish abstract] DOI: 10.1642/0004-8038(2006)123[1052:SMSAMC]2.0.CO;2 PDF fulltext

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