Bird of the Month – Song Thrush

As part of daily bird song live videos on our Facebook page, we also introduce you to garden bird species that you can hopefully look for in your own gardens. Each month we will share a garden bird with you on our blog. Some interesting facts, ways to identify them and of course their song. The first of these is the Song Thrush.

The Song Thrush is a prominent bird in many of our gardens all year but especially Spring. For me, it’s a real sign that spring has arrived. They will find the highest point to sit, such as a high tree, chimney or building as they vocalise to attract a mate and defend territories for the breeding season. Along with Robin and Blackbirds, they are the first bird to wake before the sun rises and well after the sun sets. They will sing continually through the hours, taking breaks to move to a different vantage point on their territory.

Song Thrush – ‘Arrowhead’ speckles

Part of the thrush – Turdus family – including Blackbird, Mistle Thrush and winter visitors such as Fieldfare and Redwing. They can often be confused with and compared to the Mistle Thrush. A Mistle thrush will generally be found in farmland and grass patches, rarely coming into gardens. A Song Thrush has a golden-brown colouration on its back, lighter yellowing on its chest, most identifiable by the ‘arrowhead’ speckles that cover its chest and flanks. A Mistle thrush typically has a pale front and rounded spots, standing taller as it hops through fields.

The Song Thrush are often found searching compost after a gardener has been, looking for snails which they will feed on predominantly in late summer, smashing them against rocks to break them open.  If you find a nest, you will be surprised by the bright blue eggs with black specks that lay in a smooth and comfortable nest.

As the name suggests, its song will be the easiest identification tool to use, with its clearly pronounced and loud song. Their songs carry for great distances over trees but always have the same pattern. Singing two to four notes of a phrase, taking a short break to then move onto the next phrase. They will continue this pattern through dozens of phrases but are also great imitators, like Starlings. Many Song thrush will be heard mimicking song of other birds that they have heard and car alarms.

If you have heard song thrush in your garden, please let us know and remember to tag Speyside Wildlife and add #dailybirdsong.