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Mistle thrush

Diputación de Málaga
Zorzal charlo

Mistle thrush

Common nameMistle thrush
Scientific nameTurdus viscivorus
HabitatsWoodland environment
Wintering Summer Resident Migration
Animal Life > Birds

Small to medium bird (about 30 cm or 12 in), larger and heftier than other thrushes. Elongated and erect silhouette when it lands. Greyish upper parts and whitish underparts with dark specks and grey spots on the breast. Face with grey, white and black spots. In flight white underside of the wings and long tail, which differentiates it from other thrushes.

Where it lives

Forest bird present in Portuguese and holm oak woods, pine woods and grasslands. The Mistle Thrush uses both dense and open forest stands. It prefers areas with developed understory, proximity of thickets and dominance of conifers, from sea level to high mountain. It is not frequent in olive groves, as it happens with the Song Thrush.

How it lives

Resident species all year round in the province, which also hosts wintering specimens coming from the north. It breeds from February, with a single annual laying of 3 to 5 eggs. Nest in trees, reinforced with clay and mud. Insectivore that reinforces its diet with other invertebrates (worms, shells), fruits and berries.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

Present in the woodland stages of the Great Path, for example and among others, in 6, 7, 23 and 27 to 34.

Curious facts

The name of this thrush, both the common and the Latin one ("Viscivorus" means mistletoe eater), refers to the fact that it is one of the few species capable of feeding on the sticky and toxic berry of this parasitic plant. The fruit of the mistletoe is not toxic to the thrush, who is also responsible for disseminating its seeds. Each time the thrush eats a berry and defecates on a different branch, it contributes to the birth of a new specimen of mistletoe.

Similar birds

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