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Merlin Bird ID

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    Wood Thrush

    ID Info
    Silhouette ThrushesThrushes

    Wood Thrush

    Hylocichla mustelina
    • ORDER: Passeriformes
    • FAMILY: Turdidae
    Basic Description

    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.

    More ID Info
    image of range map for Wood ThrushRange map provided by Birds of North AmericaExplore Maps

    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.

    Other Names
    • Zorzal Moteado (Spanish)
    • Grive des bois (French)

    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.

    • Cool Facts