Thrush birds are members of Turdidae which have worldwide distribution. These birds are closely related to flycatchers (Muscicapidae) and Old World Warblers (Sylviidae).
True thrush birds include Fieldfare, Blackbird, Ouzel, American Robin, Redwing of Europe, Nightingale thrush bird and Ground thrush. The birds that have close resemblance with thrush birds include Babbling thrush bird, Antthrush bird, Chinese thrush bird, Jay thrush bird, Jewelthrush bird and Wrenthrush bird.
They are more common in the Old World such as in Africa. Their nesting sites include cavities where they form cup shaped nests.
These birds are small to medium sized birds. They are ground living birds. They feed on insects, certain invertebrates and fruits. They are called slender billed song birds.
Their average size is about 4.7 inches to 13 inches, average weight of about 0.74 ounces to 6.2 ounces, average wingspan of about 8.5 inches to 20.9 inches. They exhibit a top speed of about 36 miles per hour. Their conservation status is “least concern”. They can live up to 12 years.
Thrush Bird Adaptations:
Following are some adaptations of thrush bird,
- Different species of thrush birds have different feeding patterns. Blackbird eats berries and worms from lawns, gardens and woodlands. Song thrush birds feed on snails and slugs. Mistle thrush bird feeds mostly on fruits.
- Different species also exhibit different habitats. Ouzel inhabits mountainsides, Redwings, Song thrush birds and Fieldfires migrate to Britain in winter.
- Male and female are almost same with minor differences. Males have usually thicker belly stripe. Blackbird female is brown in colour unlike male.
- They change the colour of their plumages quite often. In spring males have pink coloured breast, black coloured face and grey back. In autumn, whole body of male becomes brown like female.
Thrush Bird Baby:
The breeding season of thrush bird starts in spring. They are mostly monogamous. Males make their territory and during this process they may become aggressive. They find their respected mate for mating. They exhibit certain courtship rituals including singing and feeding together.
Females form nests which are cup shaped. The nests are made from feathers, twigs, mosses, grasses and also some bits of paper. They build their nests in building ledges, shrubbery, trees and even on ground. Bluebirds make their nests in cavities.
Female lays then 3 to 5 eggs which are blue in colour with brown freckles. The incubation period is about 12 to 14 days. Male performs the task of providing food during incubation period.
After hatching the chicks still remain dependent on their parents. The fledging period is of about 10 to 15 days. After two weeks of fledging, the young ones become independent and can fly.
Thrush Bird Behavior:
The thrush birds that live in warm climates will remain there all the year. However, the thrush birds that live in cold climates exhibit migration towards warm places in winter.
They exhibit melodious singing. Their small size and bright eyes make them extremely attractive. Despite this attractiveness, they can become aggressive. They mostly become aggressive during breeding season. These birds also fight with humans and other predators for their nesting sites.
They can also form huge flocks. The thrush birds that form flocks include Fieldfires.
Thrush Bird Characteristics:
Some of the characteristics exhibited by thrush bird are,
- These birds have small to medium sized bodies.
- They have potbellied body.
- They have straight bill, short tail and big head. The upper parts of their bodies are brown in colour and lower parts are white with black spots.
- They have white eyes and streaky cheeks.
- They exhibit some flute like singing.
- They exhibit breeding in mixed forests that have large trees.
Thrush Bird Colour:
Thrush birds exhibit variety of colours ranging from brown, grey, yellow and red to blue. They have grey or brown coloured feathers. Their breasts and bellies are speckled.
The colour varies with different species. Bluebird has blue appearance. China’s blue whistling thrush bird has purplish blue feathers with white tips. Blackbirds are black. Ouzels are black coloured and also have white crescent on their chests.
Thrush Bird Diet:
Thrush birds are omnivores. Their primary diet includes small invertebrates, insects and berries. They mostly eat worms, grubs, beetles, wasps, grasshoppers, reptiles, amphibians, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries. They land on the ground to eat animals and climb up the trees and shrubs to feed on fruits.
When these birds move on the ground in search of their prey, they perform the mechanism of run and stop. They rummage through the leaves that have fallen on the ground and also perform probing of rotten wood for prey.
Thrush Bird Scientific Name:
Thrush birds belong to Turdidae family. Turdidae comes from Latin word turdus which means thrush. This family includes 20 different genera. These genera comprise of hundreds of species and subspecies. The different genera are listed below,
- Sialia – bluebirds (3 species)
- Neocossyphus – Antthrushes (2 species)
- Stizorhina – Rufous thrushes (2 species)
- Myadestes – Solitaries (12 species)
- Pinarornis – Boulder chat
- Chlamydochaera – Fruithunter
- Cataponera – Sulawesi thrush
- Ixoreus – Varies thrush
- Cochoa – Cochoas (4 species)
- Cichlopsis – Rufous brown solitarie
- Ridgwayia – Aztec thrush
- Hylocichla – Wood thrush
- Entomodestes – Solitaries (2 species)
- Zoothera – Asian thrushes (21 species)
- Catharus – American and Nightingale thrushes (13 species)
- Geokichla – 21 species
- Turdus – True thrushes (87 species)
Thrush Bird Spiritual Meaning:
Thrush birds have many spiritual meanings. They mostly symbolize healthy relationships. Robin symbolizes the return of spring. Bluebird symbolizes happiness.
These birds sing songs during the breeding season i.e. spring. These songs are very cheerful.
Thrush Bird Eggs:
After forming nests in trees, grounds or cavities, the female thrush bird lays 3 to 5 eggs. These eggs are blue in color with brown freckles. These eggs are smooth and glassy in appearance. Their average size is about 31 × 22 mm.
Thrush Bird Facts:
Some facts about thrush birds are as follows,
- Thrush birds are called heralds of spring.
- They feed on insects, snails, spiders and worms.
- There are millions of thrush birds that are distributed throughout the world.
- The most distinctive feature of these birds is their beautiful and attractive singing.
- They are also called Storm cock, Redbreast and Robin.
- They inhabit forests, woodlands, parks and backyards.
- They are omnivores.
- They form their nests in trees as well as in cavities.
- Their age is 10 to 15 days.
- Some predators of thrush birds include crows, raccoons, snakes, jays and cats.
- The biggest threat to thrush birds is habitat destruction.
- Their average lifespan is 2 to 12 years.
- The American robin is called a robin because its red breast resembles black robin in the Old country.
- The American robin is most common in North America. It is the largest thrush bird in North America.
- The Mistle thrush bird is also called as Storm cock and found in Europe and Russia.
Thrush Bird Lifespan:
The average lifespan of thrush birds is 2 to 12 years. However the lifespan varies from species to species. Lifespan of most Robins is 2 years.
How To Feed A Baby Thrush Bird?
Baby thrush birds have very demanding food needs. They can eat after every 10 to 20 minutes for 12 to 14 hours every day. The diet should contain insects which are protein sufficient.
If you find a baby bird that seems to be in need of food then you should not immediately pick it up. You should wait for its parents. They may have gone in search of food for their young one. If its parents don’t arrive then pick it up and feed it. Proper food equipment and supplements should be available. Good food items include moist dog food, hard boiled eggs, dog biscuits etc.
The food should be spongy in texture. It should not be dipped in water. Make sure to feed your bird at room temperature. Bites of food should be small. You should properly handle the bird to ensure no stress at all while feeding your bird.
How Long Does A Thrush Bird Live?
The thrush birds can live for 2 years. The maximum recorded age was 12 years.
How Big Is A Thrush Bird?
Thrush birds are small to medium sized birds. Their average size ranges from 5 to 12 inches.
How To Look After A Thrush Bird?
Following are some tips to look after a thrush bird,
- After picking up the bird, the main task is to handle it. If the bird is injured then you don’t have to struggle much. Otherwise, you have to put some blanket over the bird for handling purposes.
- Seek treatment from a vet.
- After proper treatment, place the bird in the birdcage.
- Then comes the feeding process which is quite difficult because they need food after every couple of hours.
- While feeding, you can use a small paint brush, tweezers or forceps.
- After some time the bird must be returned to its natural diet.
- When the bird becomes independent, can fly alone, can go in search of food then it is the time to return it back to the wild.
Thrush birds are small to medium sized songbirds. They have heavy bodies and large eyes with rings around them. They can be found all over the world. They are well known for their beautiful songs and blue coloration of their eggs.