Wild life and nature of Samos, Ikaria & Fournoi

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Birds

Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos)

Description

An average sized thrush, this bird is around 23 cm long. This bird is a uniform dark brown on the head and wings, with a yellow-white breast, complete with brown speckling. Juveniles look similar, but without the yellow on the breast, and with a lighter shade of brown on top. In flight, this thrush can be identified by a yellow patch at the base of the wings.

Habitat

This bird has a very varied habitat, as it will live almost anywhere with open grassland, trees and bushes. As a result, they may be found in small woodlands, hedgerows, parks and gardens.

Diet

The Song Thrush eats a wide variety of invertebrates and insects, but earthworms provide an integral part of the diet. Snails are also quite important to the diet – to break through the shell, the thrushes take the snails and smash the shell to pieces on rocks and stones. These “snail anvils” can easily be spotted in a garden or park etc. as rocks surrounded by shattered snail shell fragments. These birds will also take berries to supplement the diet.

Protection Status

This species is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

Interesting Facts

The Song Thrush has a habit of using a favourite stone as an ‘anvil’ which to break open the shells of snails.The Song Thrush is the emblem of West Bromwich Albion Football Club, as the public house which the team used to change kept a pet Thrush in a cage.

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