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Thrushes. Madrid (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
I'm learning to tell thruses apart. Let's see if I get a passing grade.

1. Mistle thrush. White underwings make it look like it.
2. Mistle thrush. Characteristic wing pattern.
3. Song thrush. Arrowlike spots on chest, reddish upper chest.

Thank you!


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Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Thanks, Andrew! I always have difficulty telling them apart.
Some things to note on the third picture are the white breast (without yellowish tone) and the white outer tail feathers. Mistle Thrushes can show arrow shaped spots, particularly on the upper breast, but in general the spots are more rounded than Song Thrush, particularly on the belly and flanks.


duck and diver, bobolink and weaver
In picture 1 the thrush is helpfully showing us its white armpits, another diagnostic feature of Mistle Thrush.
Edit: I see you already mentioned that :)

All the same, the rufous underarms of Song Thrush almost always extend to a warm buff flush on the flanks. There is no trace of that here.


Well-known member
The single most obvious feature is the upperparts colour: mistle thrush is normally distinctly greyish, song thrush clearly brown. Mistle thrush is a longer-looking bird, with a (relatively) smaller head.


Well-known member
Another pointer that you won’t find in the guides testoduro, is that the spotting on the chest of Mistle Thrush is vertical until you reach the lower belly whereupon the lozenge shape becomes horizontal.


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