Mistle Thrush

Scientific name: Turdus viscivorus

Family: Turdidae

Appearance: The Mistle Thrush is larger than the song thrush with which it is often confused. The differences in appearance can be difficult to identify, but the Mistle Thrush’s colouring generally has a colder tone being slightly more grey than brown, the spotting on the breast is more pointed and resembles a thorn and its tail has diagnostic pale outer edges. it also has a white underwing. When on the ground it looks quite upright. The legs are pinky brown and the bill is black. 

Size: Length 27 cm; wingspan 42 -48 cm

Call: The call of the Mistle Thrush is described as a dry rattle similar to the sound made by old-fashioned football rattles. When singing it sounds similar to a blackbird but with shorter phrases.

Natural history: The Mistle Thrush feeds on the same items as the Song Thrush – insects, worms, snails and fruit - it breeds in open woodland, parks, scrub and large gardens. The nest is constructed by the female - usually in the fork of a tree - from grass, roots, moss and leaves and lined with grass. She lays a clutch of 4 eggs which are pale blue with reddish-brown spots and does all the incubating. The chicks are fed by both parents.

Image by Yuriy75 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0