Mistle Thrush

A large thrush at 26-29cm, with grey brown upper-parts, a long, white-sided tail and buff-coloured breast with round or crescent-shaped spots. Often seen on grassy areas hunting for invertebrates, but if disturbed will often fly a long way and high-up, often higher than trees. In flight the underwings are white.

Scientific name

Turdus viscivorus

Did you know..

Mistle thrushes are fierce defenders, both of food sources and their nests. In winter they are often seen guarding specific holly bushes to maintain their food-supply of berries and in defence of their nests are known to take on large birds of prey, including sparrowhawks, barn owls and buzzards.

Similar species

Can be confused with other British thrushes, particularly the Song thrush (although note the Song thrush is much rarer on the University of Manchester campus). The Song thrush is considerably smaller (20-23cm), has a shorter tail, a richer brown upper parts and more v-shaped spots on its breast. In flight the Song thrush has pale orange underwings, distinctly different from the white underwings of the Mistle thrush.

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