WOOD THRUSH(Hylocichla mustelina) – (See images below)
DESCRIPTION: The Wood Thrush adult is medium brown on top and with white under parts. Breast and sides are covered with large brown spots. Eyes are dark brown with a whitish eye ring. Bill is yellowish brown at the base and darker at the tip. Legs and feet are pinkish. Sexes are similar. Juvenile is similar to adults but with spots on some upper parts. Bird length is around 20 cm (8 inches).
VOICE: https://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Hylocichla-mustelina – Known for its beautiful crystalline songs. Male can sing two notes simultaneously.
NAME: ‘Wood’ refers to the bird’s habitat, and ‘Thrush’ would mean ‘to twitter’. Latin genus name ‘Hylocichla’ means ‘forest thrush’, and Latin species name ‘mustelina’ means ‘like a weasel, i.e. ‘tawny’.
HABITAT: Deciduous humid forests (as name implies), sometimes parks.
DIET: Forages on the ground for insects, snails, earthworms. Also feeds on berries.
NESTING: Nest is built in a tree. May contain trash as lining material. Three or four light blue-green eggs are laid, incubated by female. Chicks fed by both parents. Nest is often parasitized by Brown-headed Cowbird.
DISTRIBUTION: Breeds in southeast Canada and the east half of USA. Winters in southern Mexico and along the coasts of Central America.
Distribution Map: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wood_thrush – /media/File:Hylocichla_mustelina_map.svg
ON PEI: Does not breed on Prince Edward Island, sightings listed as ‘accidental’ so far. See note below on bird vagrancy.
CONSERVATION: Population has declined, in part due to nest parasitism. Latter has increased due to forest fragmentation. Listed as ‘near threatened’ by IUCN. Listed as ‘special concern’ in Ontario.
NOTES: The wood thrush is the state bird of the District of Columbia.
Vagrancy: In biology this means an animal going way outside its normal range. For birds, this can happen when there are storms and they get blown off course. On other times, the bird simply wanders in a different direction than usual. Here’s an article about vagrancy in birds.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Hermit Thrush, Swainson’s Thrush
REFERENCES: https://www.borealbirds.org/bird/wood-thrush
https://www.mba-aom.ca/jsp/toc.jsp (Maritimes Breeding Bird Atlas)
https://nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/wood-thrush (Missouri Department of Conservation)
American Bird Conservancy (Wood Thrush)
https://www.tn.gov/twra/wildlife/birds/forest-birds/wood-thrush.html (Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency)
http://fieldguide.mt.gov/speciesDetail.aspx?elcode=ABPBJ19010 (Montana Field Guide)
https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Hylocichla_mustelina/ (University of Michigan)
https://txtbba.tamu.edu/species-accounts/wood-thrush/ (Texas Breeding Bird Atlas)
https://birdatlas.mb.ca/accounts/speciesaccount.jsp?sp=WOTH&lang=en (Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas)

Wood Thrush - Central Park, New York - Apr. 2011 - photo by Dendroica cerulea
Wood Thrush – Central Park, New York – Apr. 2011 – photo by Dendroica cerulea
Wood Thrush - Feb. 2003 - photo by Steve Maslowski, USFWS
Wood Thrush – Feb. 2003 – photo by Steve Maslowski, USFWS