Song Thrush

Turdus philomelosSong Thrush

The Song Thrush lives up to its name, singing its beautiful song almost all year round.  And it is a welcome sight in many gardens, hopping across the lawn to pluck earthworms from the ground, or crack snail shells against a favourite ‘anvil’ stone.  However, Song Thrush numbers have declined dramatically in recent years, dropping by over 50% since 1970 and the bird is now on the RSPB ‘Red’ at risk list.

Description: The Song Thrush stands about 9 in (23 cm) tall.  It has a brown back, with a distinctive chestnut v-shaped streaks on its pale breast.  Male and female are similar.  It is smaller than the Mistle Thrush, with no white on tail feathers and less distinct spots on its breast.  The Song Thrush sings from January to July, and again in the autumn.  Its clear, musical song is made up of phrases repeated 2 or more times.

Nesting and breeding:  The breeding season lasts from March to July, with 2 or 3 broods.  Both male and female build a large cup-shaped nest of grass and leaves, lined with mud, in a bush, hedge or low tree.  The female lays  3-6 sky-blue eggs with black spots which hatch after 14 days.  Both adults then feed the young who leave the nest after 2 weeks.  

Where to see them

  • Song Thrushes are widespread in Britain, despite rapidly declining numbers over the last few decades
  • They are present all year round, in pairs during the breeding season and usually as solitary birds for the rest of the year
  • The resident population is supplemented by winter visitors from Europe
  • They live in a variety of habitats wherever there is good cover from trees and bushes, including gardens and parks  
  • What they eat

  • Song Thrushes mainly feed on earthworms, slugs and snails, supplemented in autumn with berries and fruit  
  • Though regular garden feeders, they are shy visitors to the bird table, eating scraps and apples scattered on the ground close to cover
  • Recommended Farbrook Farm foods: Dried Mealworms, Premium Softbill Mix
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