Mistle Thrush

Mistle Thrush

The possession of a number of local or vernacular names, dating back long before the deliberate coinings of names by early naturalists, is really a sure indication that the possessor had some quality worth notice-appearance, habits, edibility or voice. In the case of the mistle thrush the accepted name describes one characteristic, a partiality to mistletoe-berries; but most other names- storm-cock, thrice-thrush and screech-thrush-derive from facets of vocal behaviour.

The far-reaching whistle of the mistle thrush might be heard with any type of weather between Christmas and could, but its practice of singing defiantly, when wind or foul weather have silenced other competitors, cause the brief song-phrase to become better known of computer would be however for this solo performance. The usual triple grouping of notes should be the origin of’thrice-thrush’, while the ‘screech’ describes another outstanding characteristic-a noisy aggressiveness towards rivals, cats or human intruders.

Although size alone distinguishes this bird from the song thrush, another marked difference is within the sociability of the mistle thrush immediately the breeding months are over. In the beginning family parties of five or six, later joining to create flocks of from 30 to 40, roam the countryside. Even though this species is assigned to high trees when singing or nesting, the wandering flocks of summer and autumn might be met with on downland, moors as well as bog. But the mistle thrush is definitely an early nester by midwinter not parties, but pairs, is going to be found at night in the ivy-clumps that are one of its favourite roosting-sites.

Haunts :

Woods, coniferous plantations, gardens or parks with large trees; more open country in summer and autumn.

Appearance :

Is different from song thrush in much greater size; uniform greyish-brown of back; heavy speckling on whiter breast; whitish outer tail-feathers; and dipping, woodpecker-like flight. Young have pale heads and light-mottled, scaly plumage.

Voice :

Short phrases of three or four notes, nearly as mellow as fluting of blackbird, but shriller and wilder, with intonation which implies that a real question is being asked. Call a harsh ‘chee-ei’.

Nesting :

Often begins in February; site often a fork full of tree. Nest much like song thrush’s, but lacking plaster lining. 4-5 eggs, typically bluish with reddish spots and blotches.