Veery (Catharus fuscescens)


[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Turdidae | [latin] Catharus fuscescens | [UK] Veery | [FR] Grive fauve | [DE] Wilsondrossel | [ES] | [NL] Veery


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Catharus fuscescens NA widespread LA
Catharus fuscescens fulginosus
Catharus fuscescens fuscescens
Catharus fuscescens salicicola
Catharus fuscescens subpallidus

Physical charateristics

Entire upperparts uniform cinnamon-brown; sides of throat and breast buff with delicate or indistinct fine brown spots; centre of throat and belly white; flanks faintly washed with gray; no eye ring.

Listen to the sound of Veery


Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 21 cm wingspan max.: 23 cm
size min.: 17 cm size max.: 20 cm
incubation min.: 11 days incubation max.: 14 days
fledging min.: 11 days fledging max.: 14 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 5  


North America : widespread


They inhabit low, moist, deciduous woods, bottomland forests, wooded swamps, and damp ravines; prefers sapling stands of deciduous second-growth or open woods with fairly dense undergrowth of ferns, shrubs, and trees. Habitat selection may depend upon the presence of other thrush species in their breeding range. The Veery may breed in mixed conifer-hardwood forest in areas where it overlaps with the Swainsons’ Thrush or Wood Thrush. These birds overwinter in mature tropical forests.
Occurs at elevations where stream conditions provide sufficient permanent moisture for emergent plants, or for a narrow band of deciduous trees and shrubs. One occurrence in Arizona occurs at 2249 m in the White Mountains.


Upon arriving on breeding grounds (April for southern ranges, to May for northern ranges), males select a territory and aggressively defend it against other Veeries, while at the same time singing to attracts females. Territories range from 0.10 to a few hectares. While the male defends the territory, the female constructs the nest. The nest is constructed on or near the ground, often at the base of a small sapling or shrub, or on a hummock of grass or moss. First she builds the platform of moist dead leaves, and then makes a cup using twigs, bark, plant stems and decayed leaves. The nest is lined with other plant detritus and smaller fibers. Nests sometimes come apart when the construction material dries out. Outside diameters of nest range from 8-15 cm, while inside diameters range from 6-7.5 cm. Clutches consist of 3-5 blue eggs. Incubation is carried out by the female for 10 to 14 days, although both sexes share the task of feeding the young in the nest. Hatchlings are altricial with gray down on head and back. The young fledge after 10 to 12 days.

Feeding habits

Veeries often forages on the forest floor, turning leaves with their bill in search of food; occasionally searches for food in trees. They consume a diet that is about 60% insects and 40% fruit, feeding primarily on insects when breeding, and on fruits in late summer and fall. They feed on beetles, caterpillars, spiders, centipedes, snails, pill bugs, ants, wasps, and tupulid flies. In the fall and winter, Veeries consume fruit such as spicebush, strawberries, juneberries, honeysuckle, blackberries, wild cherries, sumac, and blueberries. They also may eat invertebrates during the winter season.


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Veery status Least Concern


It appears that the true winter range of the Veery is in south-central and southeastern Brazil, an area where habitat destruction threatens many natural habitats, rather than in the relatively undisturbed areas of western Amazonia.

Distribution map

Veery distribution range map

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