Song thrushes are a truly charming species of bird that can be found in most British gardens. Unlike mistle thrushes, song thrushes are small and brown in colour with a creamy/yellow coloured breast.
Weighing in at only 65-100g, these delicate little birds are a delight to see, but not always the easiest to spot!
One feature that distinguishes song thrushes from other birds is their repetitive song phrases. Want to find out more about these gorgeous little songbirds? Just keep reading.
Where do song thrushes live?
Like most garden birds, song thrushes enjoy hiding in bushes and trees to protect themselves from predators. They are found widely across the UK, but can be most commonly found in grassland, woodland and farmland areas.
While some birds like to live in large groups, song thrushes are a predominantly solitary species. They establish their breeding territory during the transition between winter and spring. This is where they will search for a mate, form a pair and care for their young.
Each song thrush will control a territory between 0.2 and 6 hectares. The space that they claim during breeding season is often the territory that they'll remain in year-round, unless, of course, food becomes scarce and they need to venture elsewhere.
During particularly harsh winters, song thrushes are likely to migrate south to warmer climates, sometimes as far as Spain! Shame we can't join them...
How long do song thrushes live?
The life expectancy of a song thrust is around 3 or 4 years, although some have been known to live longer. The oldest known song thrush on record lived to just over 13 years old!
Here in the UK, we did see a big decline in song thrush numbers during the late '90s. This was, in part, due to the loss of nesting habitats. During this time, hedgerows were destroyed and farming techniques were improving. While improved farming techniques are great for us... they do have a knock-on effect on the wildlife around us. Increased land drainage and tillage reduces the number of earthworms and critters in the soil, so song thrush numbers did decline.
Nowadays, there are government grants available to farmers and other landowners so that they can plant new woodlands and wild bird seed mixtures to help provide nesting areas for song thrushes and many other species of bird.
What do song thrushes eat?
A song thrushes' diet is largely made up of earthworms and snails, that's why large areas of damp ground that attract these types of creatures are so valuable to the song thrush population.
Did you know? Song thrushes eat snails by picking them up and smashing them against a stone. They flick their heads in a very particular way to make sure the snail's shell smashes! That's how they're able to access the juicy snail inside.
During autumn, song thrushes are likely to favour berries that are found in hedgerows. These can be a vital source of nutrients to see them through their migration or a milder British winter.
How can I encourage song thrushes into my garden?
There are a number of ways you can encourage song thrushes into your garden. During spring/summer, both food and water can be scarce for song thrushes, so start by making sure you've got a birdbath set up.
Read More - Bird Bathing Guide: How to Provide Water for Birds
Another great way to provide for your local song thrushes is to provide a range of bird food to supplement their natural diet. Our Ground Blend and Raisins are a great treat for song thrushes. We'd recommend soaking the raisins in water during the breeding season. This allows the song thrushes to provide their young with the nutrients and the water that they need!
Buy Ground Blend > Buy Raisins >
Hopefully, this blog teaches you something about one of our favourite garden birds - the song thrush! If you have any questions about our bird food products or accessories, don't hesitate to get in touch.