Mistle Thrush

Mistle Thrush  Turdus viscivorus


  • Turdus : Latin word for Thrush
  • Viscivorus : Latin word visci – mistletoe; voruseating

Vernacular Name:  Kash: Techalkastur

Distribution in India: Resident of West Himalayas in India.

Description: Size of 26-27 cm. It is a large, long-tailed, rather pale thrush. The nominate race is brownish-grey above, with buffy-olive rump, narrow whitish wingbars and greyish flight-feathers, tail with white distal outer feathers and tips. It is whitish below, with darker vertical smudge below eye and on rear ear-coverts, extensive but often rather sparse black spotting and sometimes a darkish patch at breast side. The underwing-coverts are white, the bill is dark with yellowish base and legs are pinkish. Both the sexes are similar.

Habitat:It is found in mosaic of wooded and open country, open mature forest, woodland glades, orchards, riverside forest, open grassland with scrub, mountain steppe with shrubs, often penetrating grassy-bracken moorland areas on low craggy hills and mountains at some distance from Found at 1200 to 3000 m.

Food habitsIt eats invertebrates, seeds and fruits. Animal food includes adult and larval beetles, adult and larval crane flies, adult and larval lepidopterans, orthopterans, earwigs, bugs, spiders, millipedes , snails, slugs, earthworms and rarely, small vertebrates, including nestling birds. Plant food includes mainly fruits and seeds. It forages on ground in open or under semi-open canopy, or in trees for fruit.It sometimes sallies after flying insects, and to snatch fruit from ends of twigs.

Breeding habits: They breed in  Mar to Jun in W & C Europe, and Apr in N Finland, Mar to Jul in Afghanistan E to W Himalayas; Mar–Jun in NW Africa and W Himalayas. The nest is a large cup of dry grass, plant stems, roots and moss, bound together with mud, lined with fine grasses and sometimes pine needles up in fork of tree. They lay a clutch of 3–5 eggs. The incubation period is 12–15 days. Thenestling period is 14–16 days and young are capable of flight at 20 days. The post-fledging dependence is15–20 days. The male taking responsibility for young when second clutch is laid.