More plaudits for Tiritiri Matangi

Date posted: 15-Jul-2019

Recognition of the wonderful experience visitors have when visiting the Island h..

Results of the 2019 Photo Competition

Date posted: 15-Jul-2019

The results of this year's competition have now been decided. Click here (/2019-photo-co..

Lighthouse Open Day

Date posted: 30-Apr-2019

Our historic lighthouse, signal station and diaphonic foghorn will all be on dis..

We need a new Treasurer

Date posted: 08-Apr-2019

The Supporters need a new treasurer to take over in September when Kevin Vaughan..

2019 Concert

Date posted: 05-Feb-2019

OrigiNZ, the tartan taonga are returning for the 2019 concert. Click..

Tiri's three unique foghorns

Date posted: 01-Feb-2019

Our next social event will take place on Monday 18th March when Carl Hayson and ..

Young Conservation Superstars win awards!

Date posted: 27-Jan-2019

Gabriel Barbosa and teacher Kate Asher, a team leader who co..

Entries for the 2019 photo competition

Date posted: 19-Jan-2019

We are now taking entries for the 2019 photographic competition. You can enter u..

Hihi volunteer needed

Date posted: 18-Oct-2018

Would you like to volunteer with the Island's hihi team and learn from them how ..

2019 Calendars now available

Date posted: 05-Sep-2018

The new 2019 calendars are now available and this year's is better than ever! Th..

Song Thrush

Scientific name:

 Turdus philomelos

 

 

Conservation status:

 Introduced and naturalised

Mainland status:

 Common and widespread

Size:

 23cm, 70g 

Lifespan:

 10.5 years possibly

Breeding:

 August - February

Diet:

 Mixture of invertebrates and fruit

Thrush - photographer Dr Kerry RodgersIntroduced from Europe between 1862 and 1878, and now found throughout the mainland and offshore islands of New Zealand in gardens, orchards, parks, exotic plantations, scrub, hedgerows and regenerating native forest.

The upper parts are warm brown, the underparts buff-white with breast boldly spotted dark brown. The bill is yellowish brown with yellow gape, and the legs are pinkish brown. The male song is a loud string of repeated clear-cut musical phrases, each separated by a brief pause: ‘chitty-choo, chitty-choo, co-eee, co-eee….’  The alarm note is a rapidly repeated ‘chuk’ or ‘chip’ and the flight call is a thin high-pitched ‘seep’.

The song thrush feeds mostly on the ground, hopping and running then remaining motionless. They eat invertebrates such a snails (hammered open on a regularly used ‘anvil’), insects, worms, amphipods, millipedes and spiders and a variety of fruits from native and introduced shrubs and weeds. They cause damage to commercial crops such as berryfruits, grapes, pipfruit , stonefruit and tomatoes.

Song thrush, juvenile - photographer: Max McRaeBreeding takes place from August to February and 2–3 broods a year are raised. A substantial nest of twigs, grass, roots and moss, bound together with mud and smoothly lined with mud is built by the female in the fork of a shrub or hedge. The clutch of 2–6 clear greenish blue eggs with small black spots is incubated by the female for 12–13 days.  Both parents feed the chicks which fledge at 13–15 days old. The young remain with their parents and are occasionally fed for several more weeks.


Find out more about the song thrush at New Zealand Birds Online.


Photography by:  Dr Kerry Rodgers © (adult, right) and by Max McRae © (juvenile, left)
References: Heather, B.D.; Robertson, H.A. 2000 The Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand. Auckland, Viking.
Moon, G The Reed Field Guide to New Zealand Birds.