GUIDE TO BIRDS OF ARMENIA

Song Thrush

Adult bird. Photo: G. Pereira

Latin name: Turdus philomelos

Latin name: Turdus philomelos

Family name: Thrushes 

Family name: Thrushes 

Song Thrush is the only Thrush species, which flies from Armenia for winter. In April it returns to breeding grounds which are tall deciduous and mixed forests. After return, the male spends most of the time in canopy, where sings its melodious and variable song staying invisible. In the same time the female incubates the eggs trying to stay unattended for predators. The nest of this bird is also unique, because unlike other Thrushes, it covers the internal walls of the nest with clay or mad. It places the nest in twigs of trees close to the tree trunk and often tries to cover the external wall by moss for better camouflage.   

Song Thrush is the only Thrush species, which flies from Armenia for winter. In April it returns to breeding grounds which are tall deciduous and mixed forests. After return, the male spends most of the time in canopy, where sings its melodious and variable song staying invisible. In the same time the female incubates the eggs trying to stay unattended for predators. The nest of this bird is also unique, because unlike other Thrushes, it covers the internal walls of the nest with clay or mad. It places the nest in twigs of trees close to the tree trunk and often tries to cover the external wall by moss for better camouflage.

Conservation status

The Song Thrush shows distinctly low density in disturbed habitats and avoids degraded forests. Its number slightly declines during last decades, and its sensitivity towards disturbance tells that for its protection, the forestry management approaches have to be revised. 

The Song Thrush shows distinctly low density in disturbed habitats and avoids degraded forests. Its number slightly declines during last decades, and its sensitivity towards disturbance tells that for its protection, the forestry management approaches have to be revised.

More specific information about this species

Habitat

The Song Thrush breeds in various temperate forests and woodlands, both in lowlands and valleys and in the mountain types of habitat. The key features of habitat are patches of trees and bushes with small areas of open moist ground supporting abundant invertebrate fauna. Elevation range varies from 800 to 2,000 m a.s.l.

 

Food & Feeding

Basically feeds on invertebrates and berries. Its animal food includes adult and larval beetles, flies, lepidopterans, neuropterans, bugs, orthopterans, hymenopterans, scorpion flies, earwigs, spiders, harvestmen, mites, woodlice, snails, slugs and earthworms. Plant food mainly includes fruits and seeds of barberry, dogwood, cotoneaster, crowberry, spindle, strawberry, sea buckthorn, and juniper. Tends to forage more under bushes and trees, less in open, than do many congeners. Feeds close to cover on ground. Uses stones and other hard surfaces to smash snail shells.

 

Breeding

The season is mainly from late March to mid-August. Nest is a neat cup of grass, twigs and moss, thick hard lining of clay, mud, dung or rotten wood, often mixed with leaves, placed in bush, shrub or tree, often against trunk. It has 3–5 eggs in clutch, incubation period takes 10–17 days. The nestling period takes 11–17 days. After fledging the young are fed by adults and that dependence is variable but generally short, for one to three weeks, partly dependent on whether further nesting attempt made.

 

Movements

The species is mainly migratory and is recorded on passage from late August till November. They winter in north-eastern Africa, Middle East and Iran.

 

Family

Thrushes

 

Source of information

The Handbook to the Birds of the World

The Birds of the Western Palearctic

More specific information about this species

Habitat

The Song Thrush breeds in various temperate forests and woodlands, both in lowlands and valleys and in the mountain types of habitat. The key features of habitat are patches of trees and bushes with small areas of open moist ground supporting abundant invertebrate fauna. Elevation range varies from 800 to 2,000 m a.s.l.

 

Food & Feeding

Basically feeds on invertebrates and berries. Its animal food includes adult and larval beetles, flies, lepidopterans, neuropterans, bugs, orthopterans, hymenopterans, scorpion flies, earwigs, spiders, harvestmen, mites, woodlice, snails, slugs and earthworms. Plant food mainly includes fruits and seeds of barberry, dogwood, cotoneaster, crowberry, spindle, strawberry, sea buckthorn, and juniper. Tends to forage more under bushes and trees, less in open, than do many congeners. Feeds close to cover on ground. Uses stones and other hard surfaces to smash snail shells.

 

Breeding

The season is mainly from late March to mid-August. Nest is a neat cup of grass, twigs and moss, thick hard lining of clay, mud, dung or rotten wood, often mixed with leaves, placed in bush, shrub or tree, often against trunk. It has 3–5 eggs in clutch, incubation period takes 10–17 days. The nestling period takes 11–17 days. After fledging the young are fed by adults and that dependence is variable but generally short, for one to three weeks, partly dependent on whether further nesting attempt made.

 

Movements

The species is mainly migratory and is recorded on passage from late August till November. They winter in north-eastern Africa, Middle East and Iran.

 

Family

Thrushes

Source of information

The Handbook to the Birds of the World

The Birds of the Western Palearctic

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