Somerset Wildlife Trust

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Bird song demystified

Can you tell the difference between a Song Thrush and a Mistle Thrush song? Chris Sperring, one of our trustees, explains how you can in this superb video clip on the Mendip Hills. 

But, if the birds remain silent, how can you tell them apart?

The Mistle Thrush is larger (27cm as opposed to 22cm), the spots on its chest are round, not arrows, it has a narrow neck and is lighter in colour. On the ground, it stands up straight and looks around inquisitively. Often it sings from the top of a tree, and its old name, the stormcock, implies that it knows when bad weather is on the way.

The underparts of the Song Thrush have a yellowish tinge not found in the Mistle Thrush. It has the well-known tactic of using a stone as an anvil to crack open the shell of a snail which it wipes carefully before eating.


Mistle Thrush © Amy Lewis

Song Thrush © Steve Waterhouse









mistle thrush 002 cpt Amy Lewissml

Mistle Thrush

Song thrush cpt Steve Waterhousesml

Song Thrush