Belongs to: thrushes and chats

Compare with: song thrush

Mistle thrush turdus viscivorus

Also known as: storm cock

BoCC Red list

Best time to see: all year

Key facts

Largest of our resident thrushes, with a characteristic pot-bellied look

Habitat: large gardens, parks, sports fields, open woodland or parkland

Widespread resident


Greyish-brown back; heavily speckled whitish breast; white margins to tail; 26–28 cm

Less gregarious than other thrushes, usually seen individually or in small groups searching grassland for food

Feeds on insects and worms, supplemented in winter by berries  


Nest is a cup in the fork of a tree; two broods from March to May

4–5 blue eggs, spotted reddish; young fledge in 20 days

After breeding takes to open country and guards sources of food such as trees bearing berries

© Reston Kilgour