Status: Common resident. Additional birds arrive from the Continent in winter.
Conservation Concern: Green-listed in Ireland. The European population is considered to be Secure.
Identification: About the same size as a Blackbird. Has a very upright stance in comparison to either Song Thrush or Blackbird. The face is white with some black markings, while the eye has a distinct white eyering. The crown, nape and back of the Mistle Thrush are plain brown. The throat and upper part are white with some black streaks. This is bordered by a brownish smudge across the breast, with the rest of the underparts white with black spots. The rump is pale grey-brown, while the tail is brown - the outer tail feathers being white. The legs are pink in contrast to the dark colouring of the Fieldfare.
Similar Species: Fieldfare, Song Thrush.
Call: The most commonly heard call is a loud, rattling “prrrrt”, usually given when a predator is spotted or another bird lands in a favoured berry tree. The song is very similar to that of the Blackbird, though less musical and the phrases are more widely spaced.
Diet: In winter, Mistle Thrushes feed mainly on berries and will vigorously defend a favoured tree from all other birds. Also feeds on insects and earthworms.
Breeding: Breeds throughout Ireland, though less commonly in the south. Mistle Thrushes are less frequently seen in suburban gardens than Blackbirds and Song Thrushes, favouring larger parks and rural areas.
Wintering: Irish Mistle Thrushes are resident, with some limited immigration of Continental birds.
Where to See: Common throughout Ireland.
Monitored by: Countryside Bird Survey & Garden Bird Survey.