Varied ThrushIxoreus naevius

adult male
Glenn Bartley/VIREO
adult female
Jukka Jantunen/VIREO
immature male (1st yr)
Jukka Jantunen/VIREO
immature (1st yr)
Jukka Jantunen/VIREO
Varied Thrush

Family

Description

9-10" (23-25 cm). Superficially similar to American Robin. Slate gray upperparts; rusty orange throat and breast interrupted by broad slate-colored or black breast band; 2 orange wing bars; off-white belly. Female is similar, but paler; breast band gray or absent. Young bird's breast band incomplete, frequently with orange and dusky speckles. Flight more undulating than American Robin's.

Voice

Song 2 or 3 buzzy whistles, each drawn out until it fades away, followed by a short silence. Call a low took.

Listen

song #2
song #1

Habitat

Dense coniferous or deciduous forests with abundant water.

Range

Breeds from Alaska and Yukon south to Oregon, California, Idaho, and Montana. Winters from coastal Alaska southward.

Discussion

This thrush lives on the shaded floor of coniferous forests. Like the American Robin, it feeds on earthworms and insects in open, bare areas. In winter it migrates to lowlands or flies south to California parks, habitats it shares with robins.

Nesting

3-5 pale blue, spotted eggs in a moss-lined twig cup built in a small tree, sapling, or bush.

Similar Species

adult male

American Robin

9-11" (23-28 cm). Gray above, brick red below. Head and tail black in males, dull gray in females. Young birds are spotted below.

Vireo

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