Beak of the Week – Veery

Veery (Catharus fuscescens)
Family: Turdidae

Hopefully, this spring you will be fortunate enough to hear the enchantingly raspy and melodic song of the Veery. The Veery is a small thrush with a cinnamon-colored head, wings, back, and tail, light underside, and faint rufous spotting and a faint buffy wash to the throat and breast.

Veery tend to be found in disturbed forest habitats with wetlands, and dense understories, which they use for nesting. During the breeding season, Veery gravitate toward forests containing fir, cherry, oak, maple, spruce, birch, alder, and aspen trees. Veery nest on or close to the ground, in soft vegetation or in leaf litter, and often next to fallen tree branches.

This thrush is mostly insectivorous, eating berries when insects are hard to come by. They forage by flipping over leaf litter and hunting on rocks and logs. The Veery migrates from central and southern Brazil to eastern and northern North America. Veeries have recently been spotted near Houston and Galveston on their northward migration.

By Sarah Lefoley, Conservation Technician, Houston Audubon
Photos by Greg Lavaty

Visit our Bird Gallery to learn about more Texas birds.

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