BIRD OF THE MONTH: VARIED THRUSH
The Varied Thrush is a beautiful, robin-sized bird. It is stocky with a round head, straight bill and long legs. It boasts richly colored feathers of blue- gray, black and burnt orange which are very distinctive. In summer, it eats insects and in winter, nuts and berries. It is a bird of the Northwest and frequents ravines and thickets especially near streams. It may also be found in yards and along roads.
The Varied Thrush behaves much like the American Robin but is more elusive and shy. Its song is a unique metallic melancholy whistle at different pitches. Males will sing to defend their territory usually at dawn, dusk or after a rain shower.
The nest of the Varied Thrush is made of twigs, moss, leaves and bark pieces and is lined with soft grasses and roots. The female will build the nest in a conifer tree on a branch 5 - 15 feet above the
ground. She will lay 3 - 4 eggs. Both parents help feed the young chicks.
The Varied Thrush forages on the ground hopping along moving leaves and debris. It will then fly up to perch and view the area it has just cleared searching for berries, seeds and acorns to eat.
The oldest Varied Thrush known lived to be 4 years and 9 months old.