Family Thrushes (Turdidae)

Near Threatened

Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustelina)


French: Grive des bois German: Walddrossel Spanish: Zorzalito maculado

T[urdus]. mustelinus

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

New York, USA




SE Canada (SE Ontario E to Nova Scotia) and E USA; non-breeding E Mexico and Central America.

Descriptive notes

18–21·5 cm; 40–72 g. Slightly larger and stockier than Catharus thrushes. Has rufous-brown crown, nape and neck side, shading to mid-brown... read more


Song, mainly before dawn and in early morning, by male from leafless limb often high in tree, a... read more


Breeds in interior and edge of wide variety of deciduous and mixed forests in which primary... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly soil invertebrates, with considerable fruit from late summer to early spring; tends to shift from canopy-shaded litter-rich areas in... read more


Early May to late Aug; two broods typical (minimum 74% in one study, Ontario), three broods rare. Apparently monogamous, rare instances of... read more


Long-distance nocturnal migrant, travelling on average 2200 km. Leaves N breeding areas mid-Aug to... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Common, but both anecdotal and survey data indicate a sustained and moderately rapid population decline, which... read more

Recommended citation

Collar, N. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustelina). 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 25 February 2020).