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Varied thrush

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Title: Varied thrush  
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Subject: Turdidae, Arbutus menziesii, Imnaha Guard Station, North Saanich, Thrush (bird)
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Varied thrush

Varied thrush
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Turdidae
Genus: Ixoreus
Bonaparte, 1854
Species: I. naevius
Binomial name
Ixoreus naevius
Gmelin, 1789
  • I. n. meruloides
  • I. n. naevius
  • I. n. carlottae
  • I. n. godfreii

Zoothera naevia

The varied thrush (Ixoreus naevius) is a member of the thrush family Turdidae.


  • Taxonomy 1
  • Description 2
  • Distribution and habitat 3
  • Feeding 4
  • Breeding 5
  • Gallery 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


The German naturalist Johann Friedrich Gmelin described the varied thrush in 1789. Four subspecies are recognised:[2]

  • I. n. meruloides(Swainson, 1832): Found in south Alaska and northwestern Canada
  • I. n. naevius(Gmelin, J.F., 1789): nominate, found in southeastern Alaska and western Canada to west central USA
  • I. n. carlottae(Phillips, A.R., 1991): found in the Queen Charlotte Islands
  • I. n. godfreii(Phillips, A.R., 1991): found in the interior of western Canada to the interior of northwestern USA



The varied thrush is a fairly large thrush species. It can range from 20 to 26 cm (7.9 to 10.2 in) in length and can span 34 to 42 cm (13 to 17 in) across the wings. Body mass can vary from 65 to 100 g (2.3 to 3.5 oz). Among standard measurements, the [6] There is an extremely rare variant of this species in which all the orange in the plumage is replaced by white.[7] A very rare British vagrant in 1982 was of this type, leading to speculation that whatever mutation causes the colour variation also affects the navigational abilities of this thrush. There have been only five recorded sightings since 1921.[8]

Distribution and habitat

The varied thrush breeds in western North America from Alaska to northern California. It is migratory, with northern breeders moving south within or somewhat beyond the breeding range. Other populations may only move altitudinally. This species is an improbable transatlantic vagrant, but there is an accepted western European record in Great Britain in 1982.

Nests in Alaska, Yukon Territory, and mountains in British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon. Prefers moist conifer forest. Most common in dense, older conifer forests in high elevations. Moves to lower elevations during the winter where it is often seen in towns and orchards and thickets, or migrates to California. Seen in flocks during winter of up to 20 birds. It is well known for individual birds to fly eastward in winter, showing up in just about any state, then returning to the west coast for breeding.


The varied thrush is predominantly insectivorous.


The breeding habitat is dense coniferous forest, with two to five eggs being laid in a tree nest.



  1. ^  
  2. ^ Gill, F.; Donsker, D., eds. (2014). "IOC World Bird List (v 4.1)".  
  3. ^
  4. ^ Peter, Clement (2001). Thrushes. Princeton University Press.  
  5. ^ George 2000, p. 1
  6. ^ George 2000, p. 2
  7. ^ Scott, Shirley L., ed. (1987). Field Guide to the Birds of North America (2nd ed.). National Geographic Society. p. 328.  
  8. ^ "Bird Walk 71 (photo gallery including photos of rare colour variant)". 
  • George, T. Luke (2000). Poole, A., ed. "Varied Thrush (Ixoreus naevius)".  

External links

  • Varied thrush photo gallery at VIREO (Drexel University)
  • Varied thrush in Twin Peaks opening theme
  • Varied thrush videos, photos, and sounds at the Internet Bird Collection
  • Ixoreus naeviusInteractive range map of at IUCN Red List maps
  • Audio recordings of Varied thrush on Xeno-canto.
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