A song thrush on the ground with a blurred garden in the background

Song Thrush

Turdus philomelos

Key Facts

  • Length: 23cm
  • Wingspan: 34cm
  • Weight: 83g
  • Average lifespan: 3 years

The Song Thrush is a small, familiar songbird, commonly found in parks and gardens, woodland and scrub.

Living up to its common name, it has a beautiful, loud song with repeating phrases. Widespread throughout Europe and as far east as Siberia, populations in the north are migratory, heading to Africa, whereas our Song Thrushes tend to be residents. From March until April, Song Thrushes breed, often producing three broods of up to five blue, spotty eggs.

How to Identify

The Song Thrush is a familiar bird, brown above, with a white belly covered in black, drop-shaped spots. It is smaller and a warmer brown than the Mistle Thrush, and lacks the white eyestripe and red flank patches of the Redwing.

Where to Find

Widespread. Absent from north-west Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man.

How People Can Help

Song Thrush numbers have decreased by 73% in farmland and 49% in woodland habitats – a decline mirrored by many of our farmland and garden birds. Changes in agricultural practices, such as the removal of hedgerows and increased use of pesticides, have had detrimental effects, but The Wildlife Trusts are working closely with farmers and landowners to promote wildlife-friendly practices. You can help too, by providing food and water for garden birds. To find out more about gardening for wildlife, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there’s plenty of facts and tips to get you started. To buy bird food or feeders, visit the Vine House Farm website – an award-winning wildlife-friendly farm which gives 5% of all its takings to The Wildlife Trusts.

Did you know?

Song Thrushes will eat all kinds of food, but earthworms make up a large part of their diet. When the ground becomes too hard to get at them, Song Thrushes will eat snails instead. To get at the meat inside, they take the shell and crack it open by banging it against a stone ‘anvil’. This behaviour is unique to the Song Thrush.

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