Saturday, 19 December 2015

Bird of the week - Mistle thrush

An appropriate choice for Christmas time, the mistle thrush is Turdus viscivorus, or mistletoe-eating thrush.  So if you couldn't find any mistletoe you know who to blame.  Mistle thrushes are very obvious at this time of year as they plunder berry-bearing trees and shrubs.  One bird is noisily trying to defend the berries on the holly tree outside my front door.

This one was in a mixed gang of blackbirds, redwings and a solitary waxwing.

Mistle thrushes numbers are falling, along with those of other thrushes, and they have just been moved from the amber to the red list in the UK.

They are also in decline as garden birds.  These are BTO Garden BirdWatch data from the UK

and from the North East.  So I'm lucky to have one.

However, they are still found in many of the lowland areas of the British Isles.

Listen to Sir David Attenborough's BBC Radio 4 Tweet of the Day on mistle thrush here.  Read more about mistle thrushes here.  Watch a BTO video on mistle thrush here,

1 comment:

  1. Would be so sad to loose these beautiful birds, lovely photos Chris. Don't see them too often but did last month in Thornley Woods - robustly defending his holly bush from redwings