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Bird of the Week: Varied Thrush

"The Varied Thrush is a gorgeous bird with a simple single note for a song. It is closely related to the American Robin and other thrushes who are considered amazing songsters. Bird sightings and behaviors are often major seasonal cues for me, and I tend to think of the Varied Thrush as a "winter" bird in our neck of the woods because they move up in elevation to the mountains during the summer and back down to our yards and feeders from now through early spring. Winter must be nearly here because a small flock of bright orange and black males descended upon my crabapple trees this week, devouring every piece of fruit they could find before hunting through the pines and firs for insects. With this week's cold low temps hopefully they and all the other birds are finding plenty to eat, but it looks like it's time to pull out the winter bird food!"

Mary Kiesau | Local Naturalist and Photographer

Fun Facts

Information from the Seattle Audubon Society

  • The Varied Thrush is a bird of thick, damp, mossy coniferous forests. Although it prefers dense, wet, old-growth forests, it can be found in a variety of forest types, including mixed forests.
  • Varied Thrushes eat a combination of insects and berries, shifting seasonally. In winter, they feed on berries, seeds, and acorns, in trees or shrubs or on the ground.
  • The male Varied Thrush sings to defend his territory. The song is most often heard at dawn, dusk, and after a rain shower.