Mistle Thrush (Turdus viscivorus)


Mistle Thrushes mainly eat worms, snails, insects, and slugs. In winter they turn to fruit for survival and amongst its diet are berries from trees such as mistletoe, holly, yew, rowan and hawthorn. They will defend berry bearing trees against other thrushes in winter to protect their food supply. They will occasionally visit gardens for food particularly if they are provided with their favourite food sources on a regular basis.


The Mistle Thrush is the largest species of Thrush with a fatter belly, longer tail and smaller head. The sexes are similar looking with a grey-brown plumage and bold spots on the breast, long wings and a white edged tail. Juveniles are also similar but are spotted white on their heads.


Mistle Thrushes are found in most areas of the UK except very high, bare grounds. They live in woodlands, parks and gardens and build their cup-shaped nests in trees as early in the year as they can. The female does most of the hard work to build the nest with grass, roots, moss, leaves and earth whilst the males concentrate on gathering food. They typically produce 2 or 3 broods containing 3-5 bluish eggs with red flecks which the female incubates for 12-15 days. Once the eggs have hatched both parents work together to feed the young and vigorously defend their breeding territories.

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