Song Thrush versus Mistle Thrush

If you saw and heard a Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos) sat next to a Mistle Thrush (Turdus viscivorus), you’d probably be able to tell immediately that they were different, even if you’re not a birder, although they’re both very similar. However, a lone thrush sat high up in a neighbour’s tree (coincidentally near the mistletoe) is it a Song or a Mistle?

The lone bird Mrs Sciencebase spotted this morning was cackling like the Mistle in this video from BTO and it did seem to be slightly bigger than a Blackbird (Turdus merulea). When it sang it was melodious but didn’t repeat itself; a Song Thrush would repeat a phrase 2-4 times before ad libbing another lick and then coming back to earlier ones. Song Thrushes are also a bit smaller than Blackbirds.

It seemed upright and pot-bellied, its breast was not rusty/rufous like that of the Song Thrush although it’s overcast and grey, so that might be the light? However, the spots on its breast are circular splodges rather than arrow-shaped, so that hints at Mistle Thrush too

Here’s the bird, is it a Mistle Thrush or a Song Thrush? The upper photo is sharp on the eye, the other sharp on the breast spots.

Author: 雷竞技官网

Award-winning freelance science writer, author of Deceived Wisdom. Sharp-shooting photographer and wannabe rockstar.