Record of the Monterey Hermit Thrush
Record of the Monterey Hermit Thrush (Hylocichla guttata slevini)
While collecting on the Butano Creek, San Mateo Co., Calif., June 20, 1903, I came across two of these little thrushes, a male and a female adult, described by Mr. Joseph Grinnell in the Auk for July, 1901. The Butano Basin is part of an untouched portion of the humid coast forest lying between the Big Basin and Pescadero creek. Its sides which slope rather evenly but quite steeply from the creek to the ridges are covered for the most part with Douglas spruces (Pseudotsuga taxifolia), redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens), tan-bark oaks (Quercus densiflora), madrones (Arbutus menziesi), and considerable underbrush such as wild lilac (Ceanothus thrysifloris), live oak (Quercus wislizenii), azalea (Rhododendron occidentale), poison oak (Rhus diversiloba) and huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum), so that with the exception of a few rocky places grown with chaparral, the sun touches the ground but in spots. Bird life is rather scarce here and although quite a number of species exist in the Basin there are but comparatively few individuals.
The first thrush captured was seen sitting on a low twig of a wild lilac bush about half way up the side of the canyon. The ground was covered with dead oak leaves and the pale-colored bird was quite inconspicuous against the background. It was uttering its low chuck chuck call note and seemed preparing to fly when taken. The other bird was found a few hundred yards up the slope. It slipped noiselessly along behind the fallen logs and over dead leaves and did not stop or attempt to hide but only moved rapidly on with one eye fixed keenly on the pursuer, as is characteristic with the hermit thrushes.
These were the only thrushes seen above the main creek, where the russet-back (Hylocichla u. ustulata) was found keeping strictly to the heel of the creek.