Primary School Science Conservation 2020 Award

Date posted: 18-Dec-2020

Dylan Lewis Y7 from Mahurangi College, Warkworth, being presented with the ..

Supporters of Tiritiri Inc and Fullers 360 Science Conservation 2020 Award

Date posted: 18-Dec-2020

The NIWA Auckland City Science and Technology Fair winner of the Supporters of Tiritiri ..

2020 Conservation Week

Date posted: 12-Aug-2020

Meet the Takahē on Tiritiri Matangi Island When: 1:30 pm, ..

AGM 2020

Date posted: 25-Jul-2020

PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF DATE TO WEDNESDAY 21ST OCTOBER 2020 due to Covid restrictions at t..

Ferry Resuming July 4th!

Date posted: 01-Jun-2020

Great News!!! We have confirmation Fuller360 ferry service to Tiritiri Matangi wi..

The 2020 Photo Competition Winners

Date posted: 22-May-2020

Here are the winning and commended photos from this year's competition. Congratulations to the photo..

Celebrate the Takahe Art Competition

Date posted: 08-Apr-2020

Hi Tiri Kids, It’s TakahÄ“ Awareness Month! Everyone loves our takah..

COVID-19 Important Information

Date posted: 25-Mar-2020

The government has announced that New Zealand is now at alert level 2 for COVID-19. Th..

2019 Winner Primary School Supporters of Tiritiri and Fullers 360 Science Award is Ethan Raymond

Date posted: 11-Mar-2020

Ethan has helped the Enviro-Warriors in many ways such as planning, gard..

2019 Winner Y8-Y13 NIWA Supporters of Tiritiri and Fullers 360 Science Award is Abby Haezelwood

Date posted: 11-Mar-2020

Abby Haezelwood with her winning Science Exhibit on Plastic Beaches at the NIWA Taihoro Nuk..

Song Thrush

Scientific name:

 Turdus philomelos



Conservation status:

 Introduced and naturalised

Mainland status:

 Common and widespread


 23cm, 70g 


 10.5 years possibly


 August - February


 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.