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

Song Thrush

Turdus philomelos

  • Family: Thrushes – Turdidae
  • Appearance: Small thrushes with plumage similar to that of the Mistle Thrush. Pale underparts with yellowish brown colouring on upper chest and underwing axillaries and many dark speckles shaped like arrowheads. No noticeable eye stripe.
  • Size: Length 20–22 cm, weight 53–79 g.
  • Nest: In trees at a height of 0–12 m (most commonly 1–2 m). Bowl-shaped, made of twigs, moss, lichen and dry leaves, lined smoothly with splinters of decaying wood glued together with saliva.
  • Breeding: Lays 2–6 eggs in April-May. Only females incubate, for 10–18 days. Fledglings remain in nest for 12–16 days.
  • Distribution: Nests in all kinds of forest throughout Finland, but population becomes progressively sparser further north. Finnish breeding population estimated at 800,000–1,400,000 pairs.
  • Migration: Nocturnal. Leaves Finland September–October, returning April–May. Winters in Mediterranean countries.
  • Diet: Invertebrates, berries, seeds.
  • Calls: A sharp “tsik” in flight. Song melodic and varied. Repeats brief 1–4-note elements of songs 3–5 times, adding variations, before moving on to a new theme.

Song Thrushes look like smaller Mistle Thrushes. Their backs are a uniform olive brown, and their paler underparts are dotted with dark arrowhead-shaped speckles. When sitting, their posture is more hunched than that of the longer-necked Mistle Thrush. Song Thrushes can be distinguished from the similar-sized Redwing by the lack of a visible white eye stripe and the yellowish brown colouring visible on their flanks, instead of red. Their legs are pinkish. Their beaks are dark brown, with a yellowish base to the lower mandible. Their irises are dark brown.

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

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