Throstle, Mavis, Whistling Thrush
One of Ireland's top-20 most widespread garden birds.
Status: Resident. Additional birds arrive from Continent in winter.
Conservation Concern: Green-listed in Ireland. The European population is regarded as Secure by BirdLife International.
Identification: The thrush most familiar to people. Roughly the size of a Blackbird, plain brown upperparts and buffish white underside, with prominent arrow-shaped black spots in lines down the breast and flanks. Legs pale pinkish-grey. Bounds along ground in search of worms. Males sit on high perch delivering song, which is loud and far-carrying. Usually occurs in ones and twos - never in flocks.
Similar Species: Blackbird, Mistle Thrush, Redwing
Call: A close rival songster to the Blackbird, from which it mainly differs in its repetition of each phrase three or four times. Typical phrases include "cherry dew, cherry dew, cherry dew" and "knee-deep, knee-deep…." . Loud, fluty and far-carrying. Distress call is an agitated loud rattle or a quiet "seep" and contatct note a short "swick" , often given in flight.
Diet: Insects, especially earthworms - snails a favourite. Also berries and other fruit including apples.
Breeding: Breeds throughout Ireland - mainly in hedgerows and gardens. Nest in trees, bushes, ivy, brambles and sometimes conifers.
Where to See: Common throughout Ireland.
Monitored by: Countryside Bird Survey & Garden Bird Survey.