Mistle Thrush – (Turdus Viscivorus)

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Bird Facts:

Length: 26.5 cm
The male and female have like plumage.
Voice: A hard ‘tuc-tuc-tuc’ and a thin ‘see-ip’.
Song: Resembling that of the blackbird but louder and with pauses between individual phrases.
Size of Egg: 25.8—35.8 x 19.6—24.4 mm.

The mistle thrush, the herald of spring, arrives at its breeding grounds sometimes as early as the end of February. It is distributed throughout all Europe, except Iceland; its range extends also to northwest Africa, the Middle East and western Asia. Individuals from western and southern Europe remain there the year round, being joined in October and November by populations from other parts of Europe that have come to winter there. The mistle thrush is found in coniferous and mixed woods, at lowland as well as mountain elevations, and in western Europe frequents parks.

It generally builds its nest high in the forks of trees at the end of March and a second time in June. The nest is constructed of twigs, grass, roots and moss and is lined with a layer of mud and fine grasses. The task is performed by the female, though the male also helps, bringing the necessary construction materials. The 4 to 5 eggs are incubated by the hen alone, for a period of about 14 days.

The young leave the nest at the age of 14 to 16 days, though still incapable of flight. In the autumn these birds roam the countryside, migrant populations usually flying southwest. The mistle thrush generally seeks its food at the edges
of forests or in forest clearings. The diet consists of insects, worms, small molluscs, and fruits and berries in the autumn. In spring the mistle thrush flies to the tops of tall conifers, where it delivers its loud song. At one time it was a popular game bird but now is a protected species.

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