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The Ultimate Guide to the Mistle Thrush

What is the Mistle Thrush and what does it look like?

The Mistle Thrush, or scientifically called Turdus viscivorus, can usually be identified with their black-spotted cream colored breast with white grey and brown colors. Its legs are yellow-brown in color.

They’re usually a length of 27cm and a wingspan of 42-48 cm, and weighing between 100 – 150g, they are rather powerful and aggressive, especially when it comes to defending their food sources, especially large isolated holly bushes.

They are seen around Europe, Asia and in North Africa. During the migrating season, you may even find them in small flocks.

The UK population has suffered a severe decrease since the mid-1970s, alongside the species now recorded as red status. Mistle Thrushes are commonly spotted as garden birds, either found individual or in pairs, sometimes seen in family groups.

They are rather more boisterous than the Song Thrush, and enjoy being out in the open. Despite a widespread extension throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the population has been decreasing since the 1970s. Through out England more than a third of the population dropped between 1995 and 2010, which was assumed to be due to the reduced annual survival of juveniles.

What does the Mistle Thrush eat?

Usually, they prefer live worms, snails, slugs and insects but they also eat fruit and berries especially to store during the winter months. As its name indicates, they loves mistletoe berries!!

They are crucial in spreading the mistletoe, which needs its seeds to be deposited on the branches of the right kind of trees. Nutritious fruits are enjoyed by the thrush, in which they consume the flesh leaving the sticky seeds to be excreted.

How to feed them in your garden

You can attract them into your garden by simple things like dried fruit like raisins, dried apples and dried pears.

But for an easy feed especially int the winter months you could use our Blackbird and Thrush Mixture Mixture which provides adequate nourishment in the cold months and it’s a favorite with the Mistle Thrush.

Buy Mistle Thrush Food

Where do they live?

The Mistle Thrush is a widespread resident across most of the UK. It is found almost on every corner of the UK apart some high-altitude areas in the Scotland and Scottish isles.

Mistle Thrush nests are large and untidy, sometimes including miscellaneous litter such as waste paper and plastic. Their nests can be very well covered because there are layers of mud sandwiched between the shabby outer layer and with plenty of inside lining of fine grasses.

Where do Mistle Thrush nest?

They commonly like to nest where there is vegetation. Such as: In the fork of a branch, deciduous trees offer safe locations for nests, with their sturdy branches and nutritious supply of food. The nest is built entirely by the female.

Mistle Thrushes nests are made from loose woven grass, moss and roots, held along with mud, leaves and rotten wood.

Interesting fact is that it can take up to 3 weeks for the female to construct the nest.

What does a Mistle Thrush eggs look like?

Mistle thrush eggs are easily identified by its cool mint color and dark brown speckles.

Birds that build their nests in trees or shrubs, generally have blue or greenish eggs, either speckled or un-speckled. The earliest you may come across their eggs is the end of February and the latest till June.

Egg size: 2.7 x 2 cm

How does the Mistle Thrush song call sound like?

The flight call of the Mistle Thrush makes a very distinctive boisterous rattle and the powerful song can be mistaken for a blackbird with its countless repeated phrases and pauses.

Click here to listen to beautiful song


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