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© Simo Mikkonen © Simo Mikkonen © Simo Mikkonen

© Copyright: Images: Jari Peltomäki, Jouko Lehmuskallio, Simo Mikkonen, M. & W. von Wright (Kansalliskirjasto, The National Library of Finland). Recording: Jan-Erik Bruun. All rights reserved.

Fieldfare

Turdus pilaris

  • Family: Thrushes – Turdidae
  • Appearance: A large, sturdily built and colourful thrush with a long tail. Back, rump and head grey. Underwings and belly white, chest band ochre-coloured. Throat, chest and flanks speckled.
  • Size: Length 22–27 cm, weight 82–138 g.
  • Nest: Usually in a tree (though occasionally on a log-pile or rocky crag) at a height of 1–30 m. Made of dry grass and clay, lined with finer straw.
  • Breeding: 3–7 eggs laid in April, incubated by female for 11–14 days. Fledglings leave nest within 11–15 days. In spring nests in colonies, but later in the year nests again in different habitat singly or in smaller, sparser groups. Birds communally defend their spring colonies aggressively, also providing protection for other bird species.
  • Occurrence: Nests in various types of forest habitat in almost all parts of Finland. Abundant in areas with farmland, scarcer in larger unbroken areas of forest. Finnish breeding population estimated at 1–2 million pairs.
  • Migration: Migrates by day or night. Most birds leave Finland between September and November, returning April–May after wintering in Western and Southern Europe. May also be seen in Finland in considerable numbers during winters when trees bear many berries.
  • Diet: Worms, snails, insects, spiders. Berries in autumn and winter.
  • Calls: Distinctive rattling call. Song chirpy with squeaking sounds.
  • Endangerment: Least concern, unprotected most part of the year.

Fieldfares are large thrushes, slightly smaller than the Mistle Thrush. Their backs are reddish brown but their heads, necks and rumps are grey. Their breasts are orangish yellow marked with dark speckles that continue onto their flanks either side of their white underbellies. Their tail and wing feathers are black, but their underwing coverts and axillaries are white, like those of the Mistle Thrush. Male and female Fieldfares have almost identical plumage. Juvenile birds can be recognised by their brownish grey heads and necks, and more extensive speckling.

Fieldfares have brown legs. In winter their beaks are orange-yellow with black tips, but in summer they are more uniformly yellow (males) or brown and yellow (females and juveniles). Their irises are dark brown.

Other species from the same genus
Other species from the same family

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