Saturday, May 30, 2015

Song Thrush

There are thought to be over a million pairs of Song Thrush in Britain, their numbers increasing in the winter, as some continental birds overwinter here. It will regularly repeat its song phrases, which helps distinguish it from Blackbirds. They will also mimic other species, or in urban areas even car alarms. Only recently, thanks to a friend pointing it out to me, I've been hearing them mimic Goshawks in the woods near home. Towards the end of summer if the ground is too hard to obtain earthworms, they take snails and break the shells by tapping them on stones. These 'snail anvils' can often be found in gardens with the remains of a snail around them. This behaviour is unique to the song thrush, but occasionally a blackbird will steal the snail once an unfortunate thrush has carried out the hard work of breaking the shell.


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