Friday, October 21, 2011

Birding in Tennessee: Wood Thrush

Returns in April or May to the same forests in Tennessee to nest, the wood thrush can be found statewide during the summer. The sweet, flute-like call of the wood thrush is a familiar sound in the deep woods. Thrushes have a complicated song box that lets them hit two notes at the same time and gives their voice harmony. The wood thrush song is widely considered the most beautiful birdsong in North America.

Naturalist Henry David Thoreau wrote about the wood thrush:

Whenever a man hears it he is young, and Nature is in her spring; wherever he hears it, it is a new world and a free country, and the gates of Heaven are not shut against him

For a 'thrush' this bird is rather large. Head, back and wings are a rusty reddish brown with darker colorings into the tail feathers. A big round white belly with black spots make the wood thrush easy to spot from a distance.

Wood thrushes have been observed 'anting'. Anting is when a bird picks up ants and rubs them on it's feathers. This behaviour is not understood but many have something to do with preening.

Interesting tidbit on the wood thrush: their nest often contains pieces of white paper or cloth.

BIRDING is a special series of article from Edge of the Wildwood that profiles various species of wild birds in Tennessee. Read more wildlife profiles listed below this post - or follow the BIRDING link for a complete set of articles.

1 comment:

ScarlettBFox said...

He's cute! I love his speckled chest.

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