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Reddish Vale Country Park

The Mistle Thrush, Missel Thrush or Stormcock is bigger and paler than a Song Thrush and has bolder spotting on its breast and belly.

 

The upperparts of the Mistle Thrush are grey-brown. The breast and flanks are a pale buff with bold black spots, which are scattered all over the underparts. The wing feathers have pale edges, which gives the appearance of a pale patch over the wing when seen at a distance.

 

In flight the Mistle Thrush usually flies at tree top height with several wing beats separated by short glides. The underside of the wing is white. The Mistle Thrush's alarm call is like a football rattle or machine gun.

 

The species was first described by Linnaeus in his Systema naturae in 1758 under its current scientific name. The English name refers to its mistletoe eating, as does the scientific name, which is derived from the Latin words Turdus, "thrush", and viscivorus meaning "mistletoe eater".

 

They nest in trees, laying several eggs in a neat cup-shaped nest lined with grass. The male sings it's loud melodious song from a tree, rooftop or other elevated perch, often during bad weather or at night, and starting relatively early in the spring-hence the Mistle Thrush's old name of "Stormcock".

Mistle Thrush

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Length, 27cm.

Wingspan, 45cm.

Weight, 130g.

Lifespan, 11yrs.

Diet, worms, slugs, insects and berries.

Breeding pairs, 230,000.

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Mistle Thrush