August 14, 2022

The thrush (Turdus viscivorus) is a species belonging to the passeriformes (Passeriformes) order of the bird (Aves) class, including the thrush (Turdidae) family, and is the type species of the Turdus bird genus. It is a common and common bird in Europe, Asia, and North Africa. It is a permanent, i.e. non-migratory, form in most of its area of ​​occurrence, however, its easternmost and northernmost herds often move further south in smaller groups. A large-bodied thrush with a light grayish-brown back, grayish-white face and throat, and black-spotted light yellow beak and whitish belly. The plumage of the two sexes is almost identical, and there is only a slight difference between the three subspecies. The male's song is loud and distant; it makes its voice even in wet and windy weather, which is why it is also called "stormcock" in English-speaking areas. Its preferred habitats are more open forests, parks, hedgerows and agricultural fields, as well as gardens and cemeteries. Its diet is very varied; feeds on many invertebrates, seeds and berries. Its favorite food is white mistletoe (Viscum album), holly (Ilex) and the fruits of the yew tree. If the opportunity arises, it mainly feeds on mistletoe; its English name: "Mistle thrush" and its scientific species name: viscivorus (mistletoe eater) refer to this tendency. This parasitic plant benefits from the thrush's feeding, as the bird transfers the seeds of this plant to new tree branches, where the seeds can germinate away from the mother plant. In winter, the thrush fiercely defends the mistletoe clumps and holly trees in its territory, as these plants serve as food for the songbird even in the harshest weather. An open, cup-shaped nest is built next to a tree trunk or between a branch. Both parents fiercely defend the nest and the chicks against predators; they even attack humans and cats. A clutch usually consists of 3-5 eggs. Eggs hatch after 12-15 days; both parents incubate, but the egg does most of the incubation. Young birds become flightless at around 14-16 days of age. Adult birds usually hatch and raise two nestlings per year. In the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century, the distribution area of ​​the thrush increased, but in the last decades its population started to decrease slightly, probably as a result of agricultural activities. Since the distribution area of ​​this thrush species is huge and the number of copies is significant, the World Conservation Union (IUCN) classifies the thrush as a non-threatened species.

Systematic classification and name

The bird was first described by the Swedish biologist Carl von Linné in his book "Systema Naturae" published in 1758 under the name still used today: Turdus viscivorus. Both its scientific species name and its English name reveal its tendency to eat mistletoe. The Latin "turdus" means thrush, while "viscivorus" means mistletoe eater. Its English name is "mistle thrush", which means mistletoe thrush in Hungarian.


Over time, at least eight subspecies have been attributed to this bird species, however, most of them based only on their spotting; the further east we go, the paler the color and the less spotted the birds. Today, there are only three accepted subspecies of thrush: Turdus viscivorus viscivorus Linnaeus, 1758 – tribal subspecies, Turdus viscivorus Bonaparte Cabanis, 1860, Turdus viscivorus deichleri ​​Erlanger, 1897. There is an isolated population on the Crimean peninsula, which is sometimes considered a fourth subspecies, Turdus viscivorus tauricus, but these thrushes do not genetically form a separate subspecies. in Poland �