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Catharus fuscescens

Photo by Guy Poisson (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
veery (en); sabiá-norte-americano (pt); grive fauve (fr); zorzalito rojizo (es); Wilson-drossel (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Turdidae

This species breeds in southern Canada and in the United States as far south as Idaho, Colorado, Michigan and Tennessee. They migrate south to winter in central Brazil from Pará to Mato Grosso.

These birds are 16-19,5 cm long and have a wingspan of 28-29 cm. They weigh 26-54 g.

The veery breeds in damp, deciduous forests and riparian habitats, also using second growths with dense undergrowth. They favour hemlocks, willows and alders. Outside the breeding season they use dry savannas and moist tropical forests. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 2.500 m.

During the breeding season they hunt insects and other invertebrates, such as beetles, caterpillars, spiders, centipedes, snails, pill bugs, ants, wasps, and tupulid flies. During the rest of the year they mostly eat fruits and berries.

These birds breed in April-August. The nest is built by the female, consisting of an open cup made of dead leaves, grapevine bark, weed stems, and wet, mud-like leaf mold, lined with fine rootlets and fibres. It is usually placed on the ground, near the base of a scrub, or in the vegetation up to 1 m above the ground. The female lays 3-5 pale blue or greenish eggs, only rarely spotted brown, which she incubates alone for 10-14 days. The chicks are raised by both parents and fledge 10-12 days after hatching, becoming fully independent about 2 weeks later.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and a global population estimated at 14 million individuals. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to increased parasitism by brown-headed cowbirds Molothrus ater, together with ongoing habitat destruction and degradation in its wintering range.

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