Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustelina) - Special Concern

The Wood Thrush is a medium-sized songbird, about 20 cm long – slightly smaller than the American robin and similar in shape. These birds are generally rusty-brown on the upper parts with white under parts and large blackish spots on the breast and sides. Males and females have a similar appearance, and young birds look similar to adults, but have tawny streaks and spots on the back, neck, and wings. The Wood Thrush forages for food in leaf litter or on semi-bare ground. Its prey includes larval and adult insects as well as plant material. The Wood Thrush lives in mature deciduous and mixed (conifer-deciduous) forests. They seek moist stands of trees with well-developed undergrowth and tall trees for singing perches. These birds prefer large forests but will also use smaller stands of trees. They build their nests in living saplings, trees or shrubs, usually in sugar maple or American beech.  Wood Thrush breed in the wooded areas of the IBA.

Canadian population: approx. 260,000 and 665,000

Threats to this Species: the loss or breaking up of the bird’s forest habitat from urban, suburban and cottage development. parasitic behaviour from brown-headed cowbirds, which lay their eggs in the nests of the wood thrush (and other birds), and whose young are fed by the host thrush at the expense of their own young.

Fun fact: a Wood Thrush can sing more than 50 songs! And not only that, but the birds can also make more than one sound at one time, creating an internal harmony.





Want to learn more about local bird species? Visit Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory's website for more info!

Want to learn more about birds across Canada? Visit the Birds Canada website for more info!



Species descriptions are from the Species at Risk in Ontario website.