The Gray-cheeked thrush resides in forests where it is more often heard than seen. It is quite similar to other thrushes. The Bicknell's Thrush, until recently conspecific with the Gray-cheeked Thrush, is very similar and may not be separable in the field. It is slightly smaller, has shorter wings with a shorter primary projection, buffier face and breast, more noticeable eye ring, and a more extensively pale lower mandible. These two species can be most easily separated on the breeding grounds as they have different ranges and songs. The Swainson's Thrush is quite similar but has buffy spectacles and lacks the gray cheeks. Veery is smaller, browner, lacks gray cheeks and has less spotting on the breast. Hermit Thrush has a rusty rump and tail. The songs and calls of the thrushes are very helpful in identifying them although Gray-cheeked Thrush does not sing much during migration.
Length and wingspan from: Robbins, C.S., Bruun, B., Zim, H.S., (1966). Birds of North America. New York: Western Publishing Company, Inc.