• Gray-cheeked Thrush

    Common NameGray-cheeked Thrush
    Scientific NameCatharus minimus
    Type of ReportRare Species
    Date of Observation08/31/2020
    • Other Documentation of Observation
    • Other Documentation of Observation
    • Other Documentation of Observation
    • Other Documentation of Observation
    • Other Documentation of Observation
    • Other Documentation of Observation
    • Other Documentation of Observation
    • Other Documentation of Observation
    • Other Documentation of Observation
    Number Observed1
    Reporting Observer's NameMichael Blust
    Mailing Address271 York St.
    Poultney, VT 05764
    United States
    Map It
    EmailEmail hidden; Javascript is required.
    Date Completed04/30/2021
    Latitude of Observation43.5113450 N
    Longitude of Observation73.2371400 W
    Place NamePoultney D&H rail trail South
    Vermont eBird Checklist URLebird.org
    Time of Day08:24 AM
    Length of Time ObservedApproximately 2 minutes
    Maximum Estimated Distance from Bird (in feet)75 feet
    Minimum Estimated Distance from Bird (in feet)25 feet
    Noteworthy Weather Conditions

    Clear, sunny

    Optical Equipment Used for Observation

    Binoculars: Bausch & Lomb Elite 10x42
    Camera: Canon EOS7D Mark II, Canon EF 400mm F/4 DO

    Observer’s Previous Acquaintance With This or Similar Species

    Quite familiar with the common thrushes (Wood, Veery, Hermit), occasional experience with Swainson's, and one or two encounters with Gray-cheek and Bicknell's.

    I certify that that attachments included with this report were captured during this observation event​​.
    Description of Habitat

    Rail-trail bordered by deciduous woods, shrubs, with open fields beyond. Low elevation (roughly 400 feet). Migrating songbirds including Canada Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, lots of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. See eBird Checklist.

    Behaviors Observed

    Stayed in shadows and/or obscured by vegetation much of the time. When more exposed, it did not stay so for very long. Thus the photos were dark and needed substantial lightening on-screen.

    Description of Vocalizations

    None heard.

    Verbal Narrative & Description of Observation

    It was an active morning in the field with a good amount of diversity and opportunities for photos. When the thrush was spotted, it immediately struck me as being "different" from the thrushes I usually encounter in the area. The primary difference being the dull coloration of the plumage in general. Because of the shadowing of the vegetation, the color of the bird is somewhat hard to judge in the photos. Another point that struck me was the pattern of spotting on the underside which seemed more extensive and bolder than a veery. The eye did not seem to have a distinct ring, and the photos confirm this, eliminating Swainson's thrush from my top consideration. My very limited experience with Bicknell's leads me to focus on the bill color/pattern, which I judge to be closer to the amount of yellow expected for a gray-cheek rather than a Bicknell, but I welcome other's expertise and input.

    Relative Size & Shape

    Thush sized (obviously) but I do not recall being impressed by it being particularly large or small for a thrush.


    See photos.

    Feet & Bill

    See photos.

    Upper Back

    Only thing I can really say here other than what is visible in the photos, is to reiterate that the bird stood out to me as being an "other" thrush - no impression of rust color.

    Lower Back & Rump

    See photos.


    See photos.

    Breast, Belly, Flanks, Under Tail Coverts

    See photos.


    See photos.

    IMPORTANT: What similar species were eliminated when making the identification and how was this bird different?

    See verbal narrative above

    This was originally entered as "Thrush species" with a note to review photos. It is only now, as I was organizing photos, that I looked closer at identifying the bird.

    Other Notes & Comments


    This report was written from notes taken:Written from Memory

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