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Thrushes, Turdus....

Fieldfare, Gråtrost, Turdus pilaris
Mistle Thrush, Duetrost, Turdus viscivorus
Redwing, Rødvingetrost, Turdus iliacus

Redwing, Rødvingetrost, Turdus iliacus
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Fieldfare, Gråtrost, Turdus pilaris
NO: Gråtrost SE: Björktrast

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Feildfare, Slottsskogen, central Gothenburg, Sweden
Photo: Martin Olsson, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fieldfare_aka_Turdus_pilaris.jpg

The Fieldfare, Turdus pilaris, is a member of the thrush family Turdidae. It breeds in woodland and scrub in
northern Europe and Asia. It is strongly migratory, with many northern birds moving south during the winter.
It is a very rare breeder in Great Britain and Ireland, but winters in large numbers in these countries.

It nests in trees, laying several eggs in a neat nest. Unusually for a thrush, they often nest in small colonies,
possibly for protection from large crows. Migrating birds and wintering birds often form large flocks,
often with Redwings.

Turdus pilaris
Photo taken in Rumia, Poland by Adam Kumiszcza

It is omnivorous, eating a wide range of insects and earthworms in summer, and berries in winter.

The Fieldfare is 22-27 cm long, with a plain brown back, white underwings, and grey rump and rear head.
The breast has a reddish wash, and the rest of the underparts are White. The breast and flanks are heavily spotted.
The sexes are similar.

The male has a simple chattering song, and a chattering flight and alarm call.

The Fieldfare has a large population, including an estimated 28 to 48 million individuals in Europe alone.

Fieldfare on nest.
Photo: Andreas Trepte, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fieldfare_4.jpg

Mistle Thrush, Duetrost, Turdus viscivorus

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Mistle Thrush in Great Britain
Photo: Neil Phillips, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Turdus_viscivorus_1.jpg

The Mistle Thrush, Turdus viscivorus, is a member of the thrush family Turdidae.

It is found in open woods and cultivated land over all of Europe and much of Asia. Many northern birds move
south during the winter, with migrating birds sometimes forming small flocks.

Mistletoe, Viscum album, fruit, Poland, Wroclaw

This species was first described by Linnaeus in his Systema naturae in 1758 under its current scientific name.
The English name refers to its mistletoe eating, as does the scientific name, which is derived from the Latin
words Turdus, "thrush", and viscivorus meaning "mistletoe eater".

The Mistle Thrush averages about 27 cm long, larger than the similar Song Thrush. The sexes are similar, with
plain greyish brown backs and neatly round-spotted underparts. Breast has much less buff than the Song Thrush.

The male sings its loud melodious song from a tree, rooftop or other elevated perch, often during bad weather
or at night, and starting relatively early in the spring — hence the Mistle Thrush's old name of "Stormcock".
The song is like a harder and simpler version of the Blackbird's. The alarm call is said to sound like a football
rattle (a form of musical ratchet) or machine gun.

Mistle Thrush, Turdus viscivorus, Scotland
© www.arthurgrosset.com

It is superficially similar to Song Thrush, Turdus philomelos, but is larger and greyer with round rather than arrow-head spots on the breast. It tends to stand more upright and, in flight, it shows white on the edges of the tail and under the wings.

It is omnivorous, eating insects, worms and berries. A Mistle Thrush will defend a berry-bearing tree against
other thrushes in winter. Mistletoe berries are amongst its diet.

They nest in trees, laying several eggs in a neat cup-shaped nest lined with grass.

Redwing, Rødvingetrost, Turdus iliacus

Redwing (Turdus iliacus)

The Redwing breeds in northern Europe and into Siberia. It is migratory and winters mainly in western and southern Europe. It moves south in October and November and tends to return to Scandinavia and Russia around April.
Its breeding area and migration habits are very similar to Fieldfare, Turdus pilaris.

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It breeds in birch and mixed woodland often near water. In winter it is found in woodland, fields and gardens
and is attracted by autumn berries and fruits.
It is a relatively small thrush with a whitish supercilium and moustachial stripe.
Underparts are heavily spotted but its most noticeable characteristic are its rusty-red flanks and axillaries.
text ag

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ARKive video - Redwing - overview
Redwing - overview
Video credits © BBC Natural History Unit Audio credits © The British Library Sound Archive Natural FX

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