The Dusky Thrush is a member of a large family of sweet-singing songbirds, the thrushes, of the family, “Turdidae.” Thrushes throughout the world are considered among the most gifted of avian singers for their beautiful, rich flute-like warblings. Many thrush species in
are also gifted musical performers, with the Song Thrush as perhaps the most
gifted of the clan. China
The Dusky Thrush is also quite musical, performing its simple whistled song many times from the time it sets off on its spring migration north through the breeding season in mid- summer.
Thrushes and other species of songbirds sing not only to attract a mate, but also to set up territories during the annual summer breeding season. Each pair of birds of a particular species needs several square kilometers of space in a particular location from which they build nests and have exclusive food-gathering rights. The maintenance of strict territories ensures that chicks raised by parent birds of a particular species will have access to the necessary food resources for their survival.
The Dusky Thrush’s song is less often heard in
however, as its breeding range is in the Far North of Russia. This bird seeks
out grassy fields, pastures, and similar open country with scattered trees as
its preferred habitat. The female lays 3-5 eggs in a rather messy-looking nest.
Following the breeding season, Dusky Thrushes will migrate south and spend the winters in Central and Southern China and
Southeast Asia. It is during the winter
that the Chinese observer will most often have the opportunity to glimpse this
handsome bird in city parks. This bird is quite common and can be readily found
during the winter months. China
The Dusky Thrush is another versatile omnivore that is fond of insects, especially mosquitoes, and berries.
|Dusky Thrush (Photo by Brian Westland)|