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Wood Thrush Hylocichla mustelina


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Wood Thrush
credit: Steve Maslowski, US Fish and Wildlife Service

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Turdidae, Thrushes view all from this family

Description ADULT Has mostly rich orange-brown upperparts, brightest on nape. Face is pale, but marked with dense, dark streaks, and underparts are otherwise whitish with well-defined and distinct black spots. Note the white eyering. Legs are pink and bill is pink and dark-tipped. JUVENILE Brown and spotted but by first fall it recalls adult.

Dimensions Length: 8" (20 cm)

Habitat Locally common, but declining summer visitor (present mainly May-Sep) to deciduous woodland; winters in Central America.

Observation Tips Well worth visiting suitable woodland just to hear its song. Feeding birds are unobtrusive and easily overlooked.

Range New England, Rocky Mountains, Southwest, Western Canada, Plains, Texas, Eastern Canada, Mid-Atlantic, Florida, Great Lakes, Southeast

Voice Song is a series of rich, fluty notes and ends in a vibrating trill; call is a rapid, agitated ptt'ptt'ptt.

Discussion Relatively large, plump-bodied thrush with well-marked plumage. Its wonderful, fluty song is indicative of unspoilt woodland habitat. Feeds mainly by foraging for invertebrates in leaf litter on the woodland floor, but also hunts more actively for insects among foliage and eats berries in season. Sexes are similar.