Varied Thrush

Turdidae ixoreus naevius

Varied Thrush
Varied Thrush
photo by Martha
Varied Thrush

The Varied Thrush is found primarily along the West Coast of the United States, in Alaska, and in western Canada. It is rarely found in most southerly parts of the Canadian provinces and in the rest of the United States except that it is nearly never found in the Deep South. They prefer moist coniferous forests and mountainous areas. In the winter time, the Varied Thrush can sometimes be seen in lawns and gardens at low elevations. They will come to feeders, preferring to eat insects and fruit.

The Varied Thrush breeds in wet, shady, northwestern forests. Not much is known about their nesting habits, but the female incubates the eggs for 12-14 days. The young leave the nest in 13-15 days, being fed by both parents. One to two broods are raised per year.

For a song, the Varied Thrush has a slow warble which pitches from low to high and back to low in long notes. Each note is louder in the middle. It also has a soft, low call of chup.

You will see Varied Thrushes in pairs feeding on the ground or low in trees. They will start at the bottom of a tree and hop higher from branch to branch. This is a fairly shy bird and very difficult to photograph as it doesn’t sit still for long. Pictured here is a male Varied Thrush. The female is almost identical, being a little lighter in color, as is the juvenile. This bird is easily confused with the American Robin. The main difference to the casual observer is that the thrush has a black breast band.

by Martha Van Natta

Additional information: see Wikpedia - Varied_thrush

- - Updated 11/15/2015
- - Updated 2/07/2014
- - Updated 02/12/2017