How to Identify a Wood Thrush

Learn how to identify and attract a wood thrush, what their song sounds like, what these birds eat and where to find them.

Wood Thrush Facts

How to Identify Mystery Birds | Birds & Blooms MagazineSTEVE & DAVE MASLOWSKI
You can easily identify wood thrushes by common field marks, like a while eye ring and spotted chest.

Scientific Name: Hylocichla mustelina.
Family: Thrush.
Length: 7-3/4 inches.
Wingspan: 13 inches.
Distinctive Markings: Potbellied bird with bright reddish crown and neck, white eye ring and a bold black-spotted breast.
Diet: Insects and a wide range of fruits and berries. Attract them to feeders with fruit or birdseed cakes made with cornmeal, peanut butter and suet.

Learn how to attract robins to your yard or garden.

Nest and Eggs

Wood ThrushGeorge Harrison
Wood thrush and nestlings

The nest is built in the crotch of a tree or a shrub and made with grasses and mud; the female lays three or four aqua colored eggs. The brown-headed cowbird is in part to blame for the declining numbers of this species. While some songbirds expel cowbird eggs laid in their nests, the thrush raises the cowbird babies, a practice that endangers the survival of its own.

Learn how to identify the rest of the birds in the thrush family.

Wood Thrush Song

wood thrushCourtesy Liz Tabb
Wood thrush singing

Listen to this bird’s tranquil, peaceful liquid song. It sounds like “Ger-al-deeeeen.”

Bird songs provided by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Range Map

Learn where and when to spot these birds!

Wood Thrush Map

Range maps provided by Kaufman Field Guides, the official field guide of Birds & Blooms.

Jill Staake
Jill lives in Tampa, Florida, and writes about gardening, butterflies, outdoor projects and birding. When she's not gardening, you'll find he reading, traveling and happily digging her toes into the sand on the beach.