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New Jersey Endangered and Threatened Species Field Guide

Image of Veery.Zoom+ Veery. © Blaine Rothauser


Catharus fuscescens

Species Group: Bird

Conservation Status

State: Special Concern (Breeding)



The veery is a mid-sized migratory songbird about 6 ½ - 7 ½ inches in length. Similar in body shape to the American robin but smaller, it is light brown above and white below. It has very faint spots on its breast which is washed buff and it lacks eye rings. Of all of the brown thrushes, it is the least spotted. Both sexes look alike.

Image of Range of the veery in New Jersey.Zoom+ Range of the veery in New Jersey.


The breeding range of the veery extends across southern Canada from British Columbia in the west to western Newfoundland in the east. Within the U.S., the breeding range covers most of the northern third of the country, extending from Washington and eastern Oregon in the west to New England in the east, and extending southward along the Appalachian and Rocky Mountain ranges. It winters in central and southern Brazil.

Breeding habitat is wetland forests with areas of shrubby understory. Large areas of forest are most suitable. During the winter, their habitat consists of lowland forests, woodlands, and scrub.


The veery eats insects, other invertebrates, and small fruits. They forage on the ground and in trees.


The breeding season for the veery in New Jersey is between late April and late August. Nests are usually on or near the ground, at the base of a shrub, or in a shrub or small tree. They are constructed with dead leaves, grass, weed stems, twigs, moss, and rootlets. Between 3 to 6 eggs are laid. Incubation is by the female alone and lasts between 10 to 14 days. The young are tended to by both parents and will leave the nest at 10 to 12 days old. There is a single brood during the breeding season.


The veery is considered to be relatively common. However, the species has undergone population declines in some portions of its range, most likely due to habitat loss and forest fragmentation within its breeding range. This species prefers large areas of intact forest and is sensitive to forest fragmentation. Loss of habitat within its winter range may also be a threat.

The veery is listed as a Species of Special Concern in New Jersey (not yet endangered or threatened but possibly on its way). Preservation of large areas of intact habitat is important for this species.

Text written by Michael J. Davenport in 2011.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
    Phylum: Chordata
       Class: Aves
          Order: Passiformes
             Family: Turdidae
                Genus: Catharus
                   Species: C. fuscescens

Find Related Info: Migratory songbirds, Special concern

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