It’s taken a few years, but I finally spotted a Veery. Which is ironic, given Veeries are the least spotted of the North American thrushes.
A smallish thrush, Veeries tend to unobtrusively spend their days in quiet forests and woodlots. This particular Veery was resting during migration in Magee Marsh. Even in the marsh, it was tucked away in the middle of a thicket.
Veeries would contently pass their days in obscurity if not for their calls. In early morning and late evenings, Veeries offer an otherworldly sounding call of “veer-u veer-u veer.” Count me among those who think the Veery’s Latin name, “Catharus Fuscescens,”comes from its song. “Catharus” must be related to the Greek “katharos,” meaning “pure.” “Fuscescens” comes from the word "evening.” If we can’t find “pure evening song” in the name, I think we're missing something in translation.
Speaking of the Veery’s call, the bird is also called Wilson’s Thrush, which I find quite pleasing. If you love birds and are unfamiliar with Wilson, do a little research on this birding pioneer. If you have a passion for poetry, I doubly encourage the effort.
The Veery’s call is worth a little crepuscular haunting of the woods. The call will stop you in your tracks, like a German Shorthair finding a covey of quail. It did me.