For the Birds: That warbler looks like a thrush

Photo by Chris Bosak — Louisana waterthrush in New England, May 2022.

If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

That great old expression doesn’t work for thrushes because a lot of birds look like thrushes but aren’t thrushes at all. So you can’t say: If it looks like a thrush, then it probably is a thrush.

Members of the thrush family in New England include wood thrush, hermit thrush, veery, Swainson’s thrush and Bicknell’s thrush. They are medium-sized birds, brown overall and their buff-colored bellies and chests are decorated with brown spots. American robins and Eastern bluebirds are thrushes as well but have their own distinctive appearances.

Thrushes are perhaps best known for their songs. Wood and hermit thrushes have amazing flute-like songs that sound otherworldly and have inspired many a line in poetry and literature.

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