Wood Thrush Conservation

Wood Thrush

Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustelina)

The Wood Thrush  (Hylocichla mustelina) has become a symbol of declining Neotropical migratory forest birds, its population having decreased by more than 50% throughout its range since the mid-1960s. Wood Thrushes breed in forests throughout the eastern United States and southeastern Canada. In September, they fly south to winter mostly in primary, broad-leaved forests at lower elevations from southeastern Mexico to Panama.

Destruction and fragmentation of forests in both breeding and wintering areas are thought to be factors in the species' declining abundance. Breeding individuals in smaller forest fragments and fragmented landscapes experience more nest predation and more cowbird parasitism and consequently poorer reproductive success than individuals nesting in larger areas and more forested landscapes. Loss of primary forests in the tropics may force birds into secondary habitats, where they may wander and may have higher mortality rates -- one of several unconfirmed aspects of this oft-studied species' biology.

Use the web navigation on the upper right to learn more about the Wood Thrush on both the breeding and wintering grounds. The Species Profile includes information on identification, natural history, conservation status, how to help, and additional references. If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact