mistle thrush is a pale, black-spotted thrush. It is large, aggressive
and relatively powerful. It poses proudly upright with long wings
and its tail has pale edges. It is quite likely to be observed high
at the top of a tree, singing its fluty song.
can be confused with the smaller Song
Thrush but it is bigger and paler and has bolder spotting on
its breast and belly.
flight the Mistle Thrush usually flies at tree top height with several
wing beats interspersed with short glides. The undersides of the
wings are white.
Name for Mistle Thrush
Irish word for mistle thrush is Liatráisc.
winter Mistle Thrushes feed largely on berries such as such as yew,
rowan, hawthorn and holly. They will often vigorously defend a favoured
tree or bush from other birds - not just other thrushes.
also feeds on invertebrates such as insects, earthworms, and slugs
(but rarely snails).
Thrushes build a bulky grass-lined nest consisting of grass, roots,
moss, leaves and earth. The nest is built by the female usually
in the fork of a tree but it will also use shrubs and holes in walls.
smooth, glossy pale blue eggs have reddish-brown spots, and are
approximately 30mm X 22mm in size. Each egg weighs 7.8g of which
shell makes up 6% of that weight.
female incubates the eggs by herself. After the young hatch out
they are fed by both the hen and cock.
Facts About Mistle Thrushes
Thrushes are some of Ireland's earliest breeders - laying eggs as
early as February. It is thought that they get their name from a
penchant for mistletoe, though it will aggressively defend any fruiting
bush it happens across against any other encroaching birds.
27cm Wingspan: 45cm Weight:
M & F: 130g
Loud rattle 'prrrrt' when alarmed. Song is like that of the
blackbird but less melodic.
Woodland, scrubland, forest, urban areas.
Invertebrates, and berries in autumn and winter.
February to May
From 1 year
Number of Eggs:
No. of Clutches:
2 (occasionally 3)
Status in Ireland: Green
Thrush Range in Ireland
mistle thrush is resident throughout Ireland.