Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Mistle thrush

Turdus viscivorus
Photo by Enrique Calvo (Photo)

Common name:

Order Passeriformes
Family Turdidae

The mistle thrush is found throughout Europe, and through Russia and the Midle East, into the central Asian countries and all the way to China and Mongolia. They are present in the whole Mediterranean basin, both in southern Europe and northern Africa in Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco.

This large thrush is 27 cm long and has a wingspan of 42-48 cm. They weigh 110-140 g.

The mistle thrush is found in various woodland habitats, from sub-tropical forests, through the temperate forests and into the northern boreal forests. They are also found in scrubland and cultivated land and even in gardens and parks.

This omnivorous species eats insects, worms, slugs, snails and various berries. They may occasionally eat small reptiles.

This early breeder starts laying eggs already in February-March. They nest in trees, the female builds a cup-shaped nest lined with grasses, mosses, roots and leaves. The clutch is composed of 3-6 glossy pale blue eggs, which are incubated solely by the female for 12-15 days. The chicks are fed by both parents until fledging, 16-20 days after hatching. Each pair may produce two broods per year.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
With an extremely wide breeding range and a population estimated at 12.200.000-44.400.000 individuals, the mistle thrush is not threatened at present.

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