The Gray-cheeked Thrush is one of five brown Thrushes. The Gray-cheeked Thrush and Bicknell's Thrushes are merely the larger northern and smaller southern forms, respectively, of the same species. They are known in the United States chiefly as migrants and can be distinguished with certainty in life only by an expert under favorable conditions. The larger form is the commoner. The species may be known from the Veery and Wood Thrush by its olive, instead of cinnamon-brown back, and from the Olive-backed Thrush by its whitish eye-ring and paler breast.
Brewster describes the song of the southern form (Bicknell's Thrush) as exceedingly like that of the Veery but more interrupted, while the ordinary call-note is practically identical with the pheu of the Veery. The nest is placed in low trees or bushes. The eggs are greenish blue spotted with brown.
The upperparts of the Gray-cheeked Thrush are uniform olive; eye-ring whitish, not buffy as in the Olive-backed Thrush; sides of throat and breast less buffy than in the Olive-back.
The male Gray-cheeked Thrush and the female Gray-cheeked Thrush are similar in appearance.
Population and distribution.
The Gray-cheeked Thrush nests north of the United States. Bicknell's Thrush (H. a. bicknelli) a slightly smaller, southern form, nests in the higher parts of the Catskills, the mountains of northern New York and northern New England, and northward and eastward into Canada; both visit us in migration and both winter in the tropics.