A thrush is any one of a group of songbirds that live in many parts of the world. Robins, bluebirds, and wheatears are all thrushes.

Thrushes live in wooded areas and spend much time on the ground. They usually fly to warmer countries as winter comes closer.

The largest and best-known North American thrush—except for the American robin—is the wood thrush. The wood thrush has reddish-brown upper parts and a spotted white breast and sides. This bird nests in the eastern United States and southeastern Canada, and it winters in Central America. The wood thrush builds its nest 5 to 20 feet (1.5 to 6 meters) up in a bush or tree.


Other common North American thrushes are the veery, the hermit thrush, the varied thrush, and Swainson’s thrush.

As with so many other birds, males sing to stake out their breeding territory. They fly around the territory and sing from different locations to let other wood thrushes know what area they claim as their own.

The destruction and fragmentation of forests are major factors in the species’ decline. Partners in Flight placed this thrush on its Yellow Watch List of declining birds, noting a 60-percent drop in population between 1970 and 2014.

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