Wood Thrush
Hylocichla mustelina
Family: Turdidae

Wood Thrush
The Wood Thrush has light brown upper parts, white underparts, sides, breast and flanks marked with large oval/round black spots. The head and hind neck approaches a reddish-russet color and the tail coverts are light olive-brown. The eyes are black and large with a whitish eye ring. This bird is anywhere from 7 1/2-8 1/2" in length with a wingspan of 13-14". It smaller and rounder than an American Robin. The female resembles the male.

The Wood Thrush juts it's tail and then stands still for a moment with the feathers of the hind part raised. They hop along the branches and often bend their heads down to peep at objects in the area. It frequenlty scratches at the dried leaves on the ground in search of worms and beetles and suddently flies back to the tree branches if alarmed.


The song of the Wood Thrush is a loud repeated ee-oh-lee, ee-oh-lay bell-like note and unhurried. When alarmed the notes are a sharp pit, pit, pit. Although the song is composed of a few notes, it is clear, mellow and powerful that gradually rise in strength and then falls to a subsiding of a melody towards a close.

Towards evening, when other song birds are about to rest, the Wood Thrush song can be heard in the woods or forests until after sunset.


Migratory. Eastern US extending to Central US. Winters Mexico to Panama and sometimes to Texas coast.


The nest is usually placed in a low horizontal branch of a Dogwood or shrub anywhere from 6-40 feet above ground. It is large, well saddled on the branch and is composed of dry leaves of various kinds, mosses, and grasses and with an internal layer of fine roots. Nest is usually found in deep swampy hollows on the sides of hillls.

The female lays anywhere from 3-4 light blue eggs between the months of April through July. Incubation if by the female and lasts anywhere from 13-14 days. The first young will leave the nest within 13 days.

Natural Feeding Habits:

This bird's diet consists of different kinds of berries and small fruits which they procure in the woods. They occasionally feed on insects such as spiders, grasshoppers, flies and earthworms and various lichens. The picture at the right shows the Wood Thrush, in it's autumnal plumage, on a Dogwood with berries that the Wood Thrush is very fond of.

Other Names:

Song Thrush, Wood Robin and Swamp Robin.

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