The sweet song of the Thrush

In my post yesterday I mentioned that as a delightful counterpoint to listening for rumbling earth tremors, and creaking and groaning house timbers or ominous rattling, I had discovered the bird song in the garden to be that of a Thrush or Song Thrush as they can be known.

I have been on to this simply outstanding website and gathered up some bits of information about our very tuneful friend. He has the capacity to sing without pause for several hours I am discovering this morning.
The Thrush is an introduced bird to New Zealand and is found through-out the country. It is a pretty bird with speckles on a proud cream breast. They love to sing from a high branch or on a tree top, although they are often seen on the ground foraging for food.
Here is “my” one- high up on the flowering cherry tree
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And then, when not enjoying my proximity, he flew to a neighbour’s Silver Birch tree….can you spot him as a distant blur in the centre of the photo?
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These seem to be his current favourite vantage points from which to tell all that this is his territory. Information indicates that at this time of the year as breeding is about to get under way (August through to February) the male thrush sings to inform of his territorial ownership.

The song is distinctive and attractive with many notes repeated several times before another phrase is sung and repeated. NZ Birds online website here has several recordings worth listening to. I was amazed to find that the first two were from 1845 and the early 1900’s in Christchurch and are part of the Natural History Unit Sound Archive.www.archivebirdsnz.com

In spring and summer I am often alerted to a Thrush on the ground by the sound of loud cracking on the concrete path. Thrushes love snails (and slugs) and will work very hard to crack open the shell so they can eat the contents….

So now I need to look for the chorister’s mate and check the trees in our Tall Tree area of the garden to see if I can spot a nest being built in days to come. I think I found a Thrushes’ nest down in that spot last autumn.

Every so often we find a blue-green egg with speckles on it, cracked and empty after a Thrush fledgling has hatched and the egg remains have been tossed out on to the ground.

Do go and visit the website to enjoy the clear and informative photos, sound recordings and data there.

And I will continue to listen to the performance that has been going on for 5 hours now bar a short intermission when the Thrush hopped past my glass sliding door and I swear he winked at me

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17 thoughts on “The sweet song of the Thrush

  1. Juliet

    The thrush must be bringing you great delight, and it’s interesting to hear these details. Does the female sing as well I wonder?
    Hope you are settling now Lynley.

    Reply
    1. ordinarygood Post author

      Thanks Juliet. I am going to try and find out whether female thrushes sing.
      So far it is calm here today. The student of the household is in at Massey campus Wellington so things may still be trembling at times there being closer to the site of these earthquakes.

      Reply
  2. Gallivanta

    I have been listening to the thrush song on the website and imagining the lovely song you are listening to in your garden. I do get thrushes in my garden sometimes but none about at the moment. I was astonished by the age of the recordings too. We are lucky to have such wonderful sound archives.

    Reply
    1. ordinarygood Post author

      I agree with you about our rich sound archives….what a treasure they are. My singer has serenading all afternoon and as I type this and the light is beginning to go down he is still singing. What a long song he has sung today.

      Reply
  3. realruth

    How lovely to have this bird serenading you. We have thrushes, who kindly keep the garden free from snails, but ours don’t appear to sing.

    Reply
    1. ordinarygood Post author

      It is a delight to enjoy Ruth. I am unsure as to whether female thrushes sing but if they don’t perhaps you have females in your garden. They do a wonderful job on slugs and snails:-)

      Reply
  4. Jo Woolf

    I’ve been trying to comment on here but due to WordPress server problems I’ve been frustrated so far! Anyway I wanted to say I am reminded of Thomas Hardy’s poem ‘The Darkling Thrush’. It kind of echoes your sentiments especially after the winter and the recent earthquakes. Lovely post!

    Reply
    1. ordinarygood Post author

      Thanks Jo. I must look out that poem. My songster has been up since first light again today. Hmmm WP thought you were spam….I am not impressed with that. I hope you get your WP tangles sorted quickly.

      Reply
  5. Pingback: The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy | ordinarygoodness

  6. Forest So Green

    Yesterday I could not comment on any blogs and today it is working fine. I think the thrush is related to our American robin which also has a beautiful song. Annie

    Reply
  7. Pingback: Thursday Thrushling | ordinarygoodness

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