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Latin Name: Turdus Pilaris

Fieldfares are large, colourful thrushes. They stand very upright and move forward with hops. They are very social birds, spending the winter in flocks of anything from a dozen or two to several hundred strong. Not a resident bird in the UK but migrates here during the winter months, around 720,000 birds are thought to be in the UK during this period.


Part of the Thrush family, it has a plain brown back, white underlings, grey rump, a significant orange/reddish wash patch on its breast which is also heavily spotted and and a significant grey head. Both sexes are similar allow the female is generally duller and browner. The male has a simple chattering song, and a chattering flight and alarm call. Just smaller than a Mistle Thrush.

Animal Facts

In Britain: October-March

Statistics: 22-27cm long, weight 100g, wingspan is 40cm

Habitat: Can be found in the whole of the UK during the winter months in fields, woodland, forests, open country and hedgerows. Will visit gardens in hard weather.

Food: Omnivorous, eating a wide range of insects and worms in summer, and berries in winter. They will also feed on windfall fruit for long periods and are often accompanied by Redwings.

Breeding: In woodland and scrub in northern Europe and Asia. It nests in trees, laying 3-8 eggs between April and June, and they often nest in small colonies. Incubation is 11-14 days and the young fledge in 12-16 days.

Conservation Status

Least Concern

Distribution: It has an extensive range, estimated at about 3.8million square miles, with an estimated 28-48 million individuals in Europe.

Behaviour: Migrating and wintering birds often form large flocks, often with Redwings. When in the UK will be found in hedgerows or gardens with hedges that can supply it's winter feed of berries. Both male and female feed their young. It has an extreme way of defending it's nest by bombarding egg thieves with its faeces.

Conservation Status: Large populations so they are of least concern. However the RSPB have them at an Amber Status for the population that comes to the UK - for an explanation of the RSPB Status - click here.


See Also:


Winter Migrants




By: Tracey Park Section: Wildlife Key:
Page Ref: fieldfare Topic: Birds  Last Updated: 03/2010

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