A century ago song thrushes were regarded as one of Britain’s commonest birds, even outnumbering blackbirds.
The average distance British song thrushes move between ringing and recovery is 1 kilometre.
Large numbers of Continental birds, mainly from Belgium and Holland, winter in southern England.
Hunting migratory song thrushes has long been a popular sport in southern Europe. It remains legal in France and Spain.
Song thrushes are one of the few British birds to eat snails; they are a critically important food in late summer when more favoured prey items are not available.
Though many British song thrushes start laying in March and early April, the national average date for the first egg is April 21.
A song thrush egg weighs 6 grams, of which 6% is shell.
Song thrush eggs are always sky-blue with black spots.
When the clutch is completed, incubation takes 14 days with a further 14 days before fledging.
Most song thrush pairs will have two or three broods a season, and four broods are recorded occasionally.
Though the sexes are similar in appearance, the female is slightly heavier than the male and tends to be more heavily spotted.
The British population is estimated at 1.1 million pairs.
There may be as many as 26 million pairs of song thrushes in Europe.
Song thrushes were first introduced to Australia in 1856 and soon became well established in and around Melbourne where they still thrive today.
Song thrushes were first introduced to New Zealand in 1862. Today they are one of the commonest New Zealand birds, occurring on both North and South Islands.
Song thrushes live up to their name by singing for much of the year. In southern England it is not unusual to hear the first song in early November but singing really begins in earnest in the New Year.
It was the poet Robert Browning who wrote: That's the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over, Lest you should think he never could recapture The first fine careless rapture!
Though song thrushes can be heard singing at any time of day, they aren’t early risers; generally they don’t join the dawn chorus until blackbirds and robins have already started.
Not everyone likes song thrushes. Their appetite for soft fruit has long made them unpopular with farmers growing strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries and blackcurrants.
Song thrushes breed throughout Britain, including most offshore islands, but are extremely rare as nesting birds on Shetland.
While song thrushes that nest in southern England are mainly resident, those in the north are more migratory.
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