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Biology Of Thrushes

The generalized body plan of thrushes includes relatively short wings with rounded tips, a longish, weakly forked or rounded tail, stout legs and feet, and a slender beak. Coloration ranges from all-black, through various combinations of brown, blue, red, and white. The juveniles of most species have spotted breasts, as do the adults of some species.

Many thrushes are accomplished singers, with relatively loud, melodious songs that carry over a rather long distance. The rich songs of thrushes provide a pleasing component of the ambience of spring and early summer in the temperate zones of the world, when these migratory birds are actively establishing and defending their breeding territories.

Most species of thrushes occur in forested or shrubby habitats; others occur in grasslands, tundra, and semi-desert. A wide range of food is eaten by thrushes. Most species feed upon small invertebrates (insects, caterpillars, and earthworms) of diverse types, especially when these birds are raising young, which require a high-protein food. Some species feed on berries during at least part of the year.

Most thrushes, usually the female, build mud-lined, cup-shaped nests of twigs, herbaceous stems, or leaves. The nests are usually located in relatively protected places in trees or shrubs, or on the ground. The young birds are naked and helpless for the first weeks of their life and are fed and tended by both adults. Most species of thrushes raise several broods each year, using the same or different nests each time.

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Thallophyta to ToxicologyThrushes - Biology Of Thrushes, Species Of Thrushes, Thrushes And People, Status Of North American Thrushes