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Wood Thrush

Hylocichla mustelina ORDER: PASSERIFORMES FAMILY: TURDIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

The Wood Thrush's loud, flute-clear ee-oh-lay song rings through the deciduous forests of the eastern U.S. in summer. This reclusive bird's cinnamon brown upperparts are good camouflage as it scrabbles for leaf-litter invertebrates deep in the forest, though it pops upright frequently to peer about, revealing a boldly spotted white breast. Though still numerous, its rapidly declining numbers may be due in part to cowbird nest parasitism at the edges of fragmenting habitat and to acid rain's depletion of its invertebrate prey.

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Backyard Tips

Wood Thrushes are forest-interior birds and are unlikely to come to feeders. However, they are still common and may be audible from your yard if you live near small woodlots.

Find This Bird

You'll likely hear the Wood Thrush before you see it. The male sings his haunting, flute-like ee-oh-lay song from the lower canopy or midstory of deciduous or mixed eastern forests. To see Wood Thrushes, look for them foraging quietly on the forest floor and digging through leaf litter.

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