British wildlife recordings

Turdus philomelos : Song Thrush - Turdidae

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  • Shelf mark

    W1CDR0001518 BD16

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  • Recording date


  • Recording locations

    Rye Grove, Windelsham, Surrey: OS Grid Reference(493500,163500)

  • Recordist

    Williams, Aubrey John

  • Species

    Song Thrush, Turdus philomelos

  • Description

    The song of the song thrush recorded on Rye Grove, Surrey. The song thrush is still a relatively common sight in British gardens with expansive lawns and dense shrubbery, but has suffered one of the most serious declines of any British bird in recent years. It is a handsome bird, slightly smaller than a blackbird with brown upperparts and small black spots over its breast and flanks. Song thrushes are territorial during the breeding season and may even maintain the same territory during the winter months. They have a strong flight, which is much more direct than the undulating flight of their close relative, the mistle thrush. Territories are maintained by singing from prominent song-posts such as a small bush or tree and the far-carrying musical song consists of a large repertoire of up to 100 short phrases each repeated three or four times. Male song thrushes often sing during the day and at dusk. Nests are constructed in a hedge or dense shrub and anywhere between two and four broods can be raised if food supplies are abundant and predation levels low. Young are fed on earthworms, beetles, caterpillars, and even snails, which the adults smash open on special anvil stones. The current population has declined to no more than 1,100,000 pairs.

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