Mistle Thrush: the storm cock



It seems to me that the mistle thrush (Turdus viscivorus) is something of a forgotten bird. In my memory it was once quite common; forty years ago we used to have a pair nest every year in an ornamental cherry tree right by the entrance to our driveway. Even then we somewhat took them for granted!
Now you don't see them very often, no one ever seems to mention them, they have not featured on Spring Watch or Autumn Watch (as far as I can recall). When species that are causing concern because of falling numbers are talked about the mistle thrush does not seem to get mentioned. As I say, to me it is the forgotten bird which is such a shame.
Although similar in colouring to its more familiar close cousin, the song thrush, it should not really be confused. It is larger, more slender and more upright. Usually seen on farmland it was once common in parkland and gardens. Indeed, the orchard was its favoured home, especially one where the fruit trees had mistletoe growing on them, as the name suggests the two are linked.
The mistle thrush is also known as the stormcock in some areas because it will sit and sing from a high perch on even the worst of spring days!
Mistle Thrush: the storm cock

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