Bird of Interest 17 – Song Thrush

The Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos) is a dainty and well-marked thrush. Despite its subdued colouration, the Song Thrush ranks as a favourite among bird watchers, and its beautiful and distinctive song contributes in no small way to its appeal. The sexes are similar.The adult has warm brown upperparts with a hint of an orange-buff wing bar. The underparts are pale but well-marked with dark spots; with a yelllowish-buff wash to the breast. In flight, the orange buff underwing coverts are a useful cue for identification.


The Song Thrush is found in a wide variety of habitats that boast a mosaic of open ground and dense vegetation, together with a selection of trees and shrubs. Consequently, it occurs  although it is least common in northern and upland districts. Outside the breeding season, many song thrush from the northern Britain move south and some even migrate to the continent.  However, overall the population is boosted by influxes of birds from northern mainland Europe. Although the song thrush is relatively common in the region, it has declined markedly in recent decades. Changes in farming practices, including the application of ever more “efficient” insecticides and molluscides (which reduce the amount of food), have contributed to the species decline.

Song Thrushes tend to be rather secretive during the breeding season and so the species is most easily observed during the winter months.

Reference List:

  • Sterry.P., (2004) Collins Complete Guide to British Birds. Harper Collins Publishing Ltd, London.

About Thomas Whitlock

I'm a third student at the University of Reading, currently studied for a degree in Zoology. I have a wide interest in biodiversity, most notably British wildlife. I have an especial interest in British mammals and birds. I hope to become a wildlife cameraman or photographer after I graduate, and I feel that blogging will be a key component of any future job in Zoology. This is my first blog, so please be kind!
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