Tuesday Teaser Answered

P1040151Tuesday's Teaser is a Hermit Thrush. A little tricky because you can't see the whole bird.  

Interesting to compare him to last week's mystery bird, the Brown Thrasher.

This bird participated in the NJMC's banding project earlier this spring.

P1040149We have included a photo of its beautiful rufous tail as a clue.

This bird may well have been Thoreau's favorite, although some think Henry D. was referring to this bird's cousin when he wrote: "Whenever a man hears it he is young, and Nature is in her spring; wherever he hears it, it is a new world and a free country, and the gates of Heaven are not shut against him."



5 thoughts on “Tuesday Teaser Answered

  1. Mike G.

    Thoreau mentions the “wood thrush” by name earlier in the same paragraph. It’s hard to believe that such a fine naturalist as Thoreau would have gotten his local birds mixed up.

  2. Jim Wright

    Might do a search on “Thoreau” and “thrush” …
    This from John Burroughs:
    Thoreau’s friends and neighbors seem to have persuaded themselves that his natural-history lore was infallible, and, moreover, that he possessed some mysterious power over the wild creatures about him that other men did not possess.
    I recall how Emerson fairly bristled up when on one occasion while in conversation with him I told him I thought Thoreau in his trips to the Maine woods had confounded the hermit thrush with the wood thrush, as the latter was rarely or never found in Maine.

  3. Mike G.

    John Burroughs was professionally jealous of Thoreau’s preeminence as ‘America’s Nature Writer’, and continually criticized Thoreau in order to try to place his work at a distance. He also disliked Thoreau’s tendency to preach about and draw moral inferences from nature, which is well-taken point. 😉

  4. Jim Wright

    As Francis H. Allen has pointed out in his “Thoreau’s Bird-Lore” (Boston, 1910; p. 377ff. ), Thoreau almost invariably confuses the wood thrush and the hermit thrush.
    From an annotated “Walden”

  5. Mike G.

    If you are using Jeffrey S. Cramer’s annotations on “I To Myself”, which suggests that Thoreau had a tendency to call every singing thrush a wood thrush, I’ll have to take a look. Since we are talking about birds that may or may not have been present in Concord (or Maine) in the 1830’s, it’s not possible to know which birds were where.
    Keep in mind that this particular quote was made in Thoreau’s writing journal — many writers keep a personal journal of impressions for later use — and not in any of his major works.


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