Veery

Hey guys, welcome back! Today’s bird is a member of the thrush family. The veery is a brightly colored warm cinnamon-brown. Their underparts are a buff with light spots on their throat and upper breast. Although at first glance, they’re pretty similar to other thrushes like the hermit and Swainson’s, their brighter brown, and lighter spots help them stand out. (Although in the northern most parts of their range, they can be darker brown) They get their name from their song which is said to sound like a cascade of “veer” sounds.

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Veery, Central Park, NY

Like other thrushes, veery spend most of their time foraging along the forest floor through the understory. Widespread throughout eastern North America, their winter range is actually quite limited. Recent studies found that veery only winter in central and southern Brazil. Veery are often the target of brood parasite, the brown-headed cowbird. They tolerate the cowbird eggs (or perhaps can’t recognize them), but it’s not all bad news as they love to nest in wet forests near beaver dams. Beaver populations are making a good comeback so veery could see a population uptrend as well.

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Veery, Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Jamaica, NY

When I worked in Central Park, we would get  pretty much all of the thrushes during migration (hermit, Swainson’s, gray-cheeked, wood, veery, and occasionally Bicknell’s) They stood out from the rest with their bright color which always made finding one a special treat. That’ll do it for us here in September. Next up, a relative of the mockingbird; the gray catbird! See you all then!

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