After Ron Lee sent me a series of pictures of a hermit thrush, I immediately knew what I wanted for Christmas — a hermit thrush showing up at my backyard feeders.
Although this thrush winters throughout Georgia, it is not a bird that frequents our feeders. The exception to this rule is Ron and Jennie Lee’s backyard. The Lees have hosted a hermit thrush in their backyard for several winters.
These winter visitors are drawn out of the thick shrubs surrounding his year by cornbread that is scattered on the ground.
The bird that has made the Lee’s backyard its home this winter has become exceptionally tame. When Ron goes out into the yard to replenish the cornbread the thrush will suddenly appear and begin feeding.
Ron says that a ruby-crowned kinglet has also developed a taste for cornbread.
My wife and I have been feeding cornbread to the birds for many years. Although this delicacy is regularly eaten by mockingbirds and other backyard diners, we have never attracted a hermit thrush.
Hermit thrushes are known to feed on the ground and in elevated feeders such as bird tables and trays.
Aside from cornbread, they are also known to eat sliced apples, doughnuts, cracked corn, pieces of pecans, suet, and peanut butter. White bread is also listed among the foods consumed by hermit thrushes. However, Ron reports that when he has tried to offer his hermit thrush small pieces of white bread, the bird tosses them aside and seeks out the cornbread.
Over the years, I have tried all of these feeder offerings without success. I guess I need to see if Ron and Jennie will share their cornbread recipe with me. In the meantime, I hope Santa will bring me a Christmas hermit thrush.