Song Thrush

Turdus philomelos
Bird Songs
Song Thrush alarm rattle

Song Thrush song


New Zealand status: Introduced

Conservation status: Introduced and Naturalised

The song thrush is one of the main songsters in suburban New Zealand, with a very long singing season.

The song thrush is smaller than a blackbird and is distinguished from the female blackbird by its pale cream underparts speckled with fawn-brown chevrons. The head, back and upper wings and tail are smooth grey-brown with indistinct streaking on the head. Both male and females thrushes look alike. Juveniles have similar colouring but the speckling on the breast is less distinct.

Thrushes sing from a high branch, at the top of a tree, or on power poles and lines. Their distinctive song covers a wide range of notes, with each phrase typically repeated two or three times in succession. They feed mostly on the ground on earthworms and snails, also insects and berries.

Song Thrushes were introduced from England, and were released widely in New Zealand from 1867 where they are now common throughout.

Find out more about song thrushes

Song Thrush. Credit: Oscar Thomas.