Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)

The Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris) breeds in woodland and scrub in northern Europe and Asia. It is strongly migratory, with many northern birds moving south during the winter. It is a very rare breeder in Great Britain and Ireland, but winters in large numbers in these countries.


It nests in trees, laying several eggs in a neat nest. Unusually for a thrush, they often nest in small colonies, possibly for protection from large crows.

Migrating birds and wintering birds often form large flocks, often with Redwings.

The Fieldfare is a large thrush. Males and females look alike, with plain brown backs and grey rump and rear head. Underwings are white. Underparts are spotted, with a reddish wash to the breast.

It is omnivorous, eating a wide range of insects and earthworms in summer, and berries in winter.

The male has a simple chattering song, and a chattering flight and alarm call. Its name derives from the Anglo-Saxon feld-fere meaning traveler through the fields, probably named so for their constantly moving, foraging habits.

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