Most beautiful small birds - Sykalo Eugen 2024

Mistle Thrush (Turdus viscivorus)


  • Species name: Mistle Thrush
  • Scientific name: Turdus viscivorus
  • Family: Turdidae (Thrushes)
  • Order: Passeriformes (Songbirds)
  • Subclass: Neornithes (Modern birds)
  • Class: Aves (Birds)


  • Size: Largest thrush in Europe, about 27-28 cm (11-11 in) long with a wingspan of 45 cm (18 in).
  • Body shape: Stocky and well-built, with a large head, a thick neck, and a long, strong beak.
  • Plumage color:

Brownish-gray upperparts with dark streaks and speckles.

Buff-colored underparts with dark spots.

Pale gray cheeks and throat.

Long, dark brown beak, stout and hooked at the tip.

Strong pink or brown legs.

Dark brown eyes.


  • Method of feeding: Omnivorous, eating a variety of fruits, berries, insects, worms, and other small invertebrates. Forages on the ground, in trees, and on buildings.
  • Reproduction: Builds bulky nests in trees, hedges, or even on buildings. Lays 3-5 blue-green eggs with dark speckles. Both parents care for the young.
  • Movement: Resident in most of its range, but some northern populations migrate south for the winter.
  • Communication: Loud, clear song, often used to defend territory and attract mates. Also uses a variety of calls for alarm and communication.


  • Habitat: Woodlands, parks, gardens, farmland, and even urban areas. Adapts well to a variety of habitats.
  • Diet: Fruits, berries, insects, worms, snails, small birds, and mammals.
  • Hunting methods: Forages on the ground, in trees, and on buildings, picking up food items or probing the soil with their beaks. May also glean insects from leaves or catch them in mid-air.

Distribution: Widespread in Europe, temperate Asia, and North Africa.

Mistle Thrush

The Mistle Thrush, a feathered sentinel of European woodlands, might seem like a familiar resident of parks and gardens at first glance. But beneath its speckled coat and bold calls lies a treasure trove of surprising facts and adaptations that will transform this woodland watchman into a captivating avian acrobat, champion seed sower, and unexpected trickster in your eyes.

Masters of Aerial Acrobatics: Forget clumsy hops; Mistle Thrush reign supreme in the domain of branches and rooftops. Their powerful legs and broad wings propel them through the trees with surprising agility, leaping and gliding between branches like feathered trapeze artists in a leafy circus. Imagine them as woodland parkour experts with built-in miniature trampolines and miniature hang gliders.

Hidden Feasting Technique: Don't underestimate their dietary flexibility! While berries and fruits are a staple, Mistle Thrushes are opportunistic omnivores, readily adapting their menu to seasonal bounty. From juicy worms and plump snails to seeds and even the occasional small bird egg, their varied appetite keeps them fueled for energetic foraging sessions. Think of them as feathered gourmands with built-in miniature buffets hidden within the trees and hedgerows.

Singing with Audacious Spirit: Their calls aren't just chirps and whistles. Mistle Thrushes possess a powerful and diverse repertoire, with loud, clear whistles, intricate melodies, and even a signature "chack-chack" alarm call that echoes through the woods. Their voices rise above the trees like feathered opera singers, serenading the woodlands with their bold, audacious spirit.

Unexpected Seed Sowers: They're not just feathered songbirds. Mistle Thrushes play a vital role in dispersing seeds and berries, swallowing them whole and depositing them far from the parent plant through their droppings. This feathered network of gut gardens helps regenerate forests and maintain the diversity of woodland flora. Imagine them as avian Johnny Appleseeds with built-in miniature helicopters and fertilizer factories.

Champions of Deception: They're not always honest diners. Mistle Thrushes have mastered the art of mimicry and trickery, attracting other birds, particularly the smaller Redwing, with deceptive calls and gestures. Once lured close, they chase them away and steal their hard-earned food, proving they're not just singers but feathered con artists with built-in miniature sirens and stage illusions.

Cultural Charmers: In European cultures, the Mistle Thrush is associated with wisdom, strength, and the watchful spirit of the ancient woodlands. Its bold calls and acrobatic displays inspire awe and respect, making it a treasured symbol of the region's resilient ecosystems and enduring spirit.

Unexpected Regional Variations: Did you know? Not all Mistle Thrushes are the same! Different populations across Europe and Asia boast subtle variations in plumage color and call patterns, adding a touch of feathered diversity to this adaptable species.