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

Mistle Thrush

Turdus viscivorus

  • Family: Thrushes – Turdidae
  • Appearance: The largest thrush found in Finland. Resembles a large Song Thrush, but has a more upright posture. Longish brown tail with white tips often visible on outer tail feathers. Round spots prominent on otherwise evenly pale underparts. Pale underwings and axillaries.
  • Size: Length 26–29 cm, weight 100–126 g.
  • Nest: In trees at a height of 0.5–10 m. Bowl-shaped, made of twigs, moss and lichen, lined inside with clay or mud covered with small pieces of grass and leaves.
  • Breeding: Lays 3–5 eggs April-May. Only females incubate regularly, for 13–15 days. Fledglings remain in nest for 12–16 days.
  • Distribution: Nests in coniferous forests from Southern Finland to Lapland. Finnish breeding population estimated at 130,000–200,000 pairs.
  • Migration: Autumn migration September–October mainly by night; spring migration April–May mainly by day. Winters in Central and Southern Europe.
  • Diet: Invertebrates, berries, seeds.
  • Calls: A longish churring “srrr”. Song reminiscent of Blackbird’s, but more broken and less varied.

Mistle Thrushes are wary and shy. Their colouring resembles that of a large Song Thrush. Their strikingly erect posture also distinguishes them from other thrushes. Their backs are a uniform grey-brown. Their longish tails have white corners. Their underparts are mainly white, with pale brownish flanks and breasts, but dotted with round black speckles. In flight, their white underwing coverts and axillaries are a useful distinguishing feature. Both sexes have identical plumage. Young birds can be recognised by their more speckled upper parts. Their legs are pale yellowish brown. Their beaks are dark grey with a yellowish base to the lower mandible. They have brown irises.

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

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