Family Thrushes (Turdidae)

Least Concern

Mistle Thrush (Turdus viscivorus)


French: Grive draine German: Misteldrossel Spanish: Zorzal charlo

Turdus viscivorus


, 1758,

Essex, England


Genetic data#R#R indicate that this species is basal within the genus. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. v. viscivorus Linnaeus, 1758 – Europe E to W Siberia and N Iran; in winter also N Africa and SW Asia.
  • T. v. deichleri Erlanger, 1897 – NW Africa, Corsica and Sardinia.
  • T. v. bonapartei Cabanis, 1860 – Turkmenistan and SC Siberia (E from R Ob) S to Altai, NW China (W Xinjiang), Tien Shan, NE Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Himalayas to C Nepal; winters in C & S Asia.
  • Descriptive notes

    27–28 cm; 93–167 g. Large, long-tailed, rather pale thrush. Nominate race is brownish-grey above, with buffy-olive rump, narrow whitish wingbars and greyish... read more


    Song, by male from treetop, at times in flight (relatively common in open park-like landscapes), a... read more


    Mosaic of wooded and open country, thus open mature forest, woodland glades, orchards, riverside... read more

    Food and feeding

    Invertebrates and, in autumn and winter, seeds and fruits. Animal food includes adult and larval beetles (Coleoptera) of at least ten... read more


    Late Mar to late Jun in W & C Europe, and from late Apr at earliest in N (Finland); late Mar to Jul in Afghanistan E to W Himalayas;... read more


    Largely sedentary or partial migrant in W of range, roughly from Germany S to Balkans, Turkey and... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common in most of range; fairly scarce in Afghanistan; uncommon to frequent resident in NW Africa; locally common in W Himalayas. Densities in hilly... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. (2019). Mistle Thrush (Turdus viscivorus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 10 December 2019).