Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Zeiss - Always on the lookout for something special – Shop now

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Personal tools
Main Categories


From Opus

Photo by robskiKent, UK
Photo by robski
Kent, UK
Turdus pilaris


[edit] Identification

Length 24-28 cm (9½-11 in), weight 81-141 g

  • Sexes similar
  • Grey head
  • Brown back
  • Grey rump
  • Black tail
  • Breast orangey-brown with dark spots and streaks
  • Belly whiter, with dark spots and streaks
  • Underwing white
  • Black-tipped yellow bill


  • Duller, browner, and streaked above

[edit] Similar species

JuvenilePhoto by Duck Doc DuckTrondheim, Norway, June 2013
Photo by Duck Doc Duck
Trondheim, Norway, June 2013

Mistle Thrush is slightly larger, and uniform grey-brown above; it shares the white underwing. Redwing and Song Thrush are both smaller, brown above, and have red and orange underwings respectively; Redwing also has a white supercilium.

[edit] Distribution

Breeds throughout central and northern Europe and northern Asia, from eastern France and the Alps north to the whole of Scandinavia, south-east to northern Romania, and east through Russia to the Lena River area in Yakutsk Oblast, eastern Siberia, and also north-western China. There is also a small breeding population in Greenland (colonised in 1937) and in Iceland (irregular). Breeds irregularly in most years in Britain, but only 'one-off' cases with no regular sites occupied. The first recorded breeding for Bulgaria occurred in 1993. Birds from north-eastern Scandinavia and north and east Russia are migratory, and those from the remainder of range partially migratory.

Winter range includes Iceland, the British Isles and southern parts of Sweden and Finland south to the Mediterranean from Iberia to Israel. Rarely reaches northwest Africa but regular in Nile Delta.

FledglingPhoto by Doc DuckDragvoll, Norway, June 2016
Photo by Doc Duck
Dragvoll, Norway, June 2016

Vagrants recorded in Svalbard, Bear Island and Jan Mayen, and also Madeira. The Greenland population has been the source of vagrants to the northeast USA and eastern Canada.

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species[1].

[edit] Habitat

Breeds in open birch, alder or coniferous woodland, often in damp areas and along rivers. Also in more open, moorland-type habitats with stunted trees and rocky outcrops.

On passage and in winter in open scrub with berry-bearing shrubs (mainly hawthorn Crataegus) and on damp and grassy fields interspersed with small woods and hedgerows. In severe weather often attracted to parks and gardens.

[edit] Behaviour

Highly gregarious all year. During the winter, forms large mixed flocks with other thrushes (mainly Redwings) and starlings.

[edit] Breeding

Nests in colonies, where all the birds share in defence against predators – has been known to kill predatory birds as large as buzzards by repeated defecation by every member of the colony on the predator, leaving their plumage so matted as to cause the bird to become chilled.

[edit] Diet

Their diet consists of invertebrates, supplemented with berries, particularly in the winter months.

[edit] Vocalisation

Call: loud chack, chack, chack

Listen in an external program

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from
  2. Birdwatchers Pocket Guide ISBN 1-85732-804-3
  3. BF Member observations
  4. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved August 2016)

[edit] External Links


Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.33548188 seconds with 6 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 05:12.