Thrushes (Turdidae)

Eastern Bluebird

Sialia sialis

The Bluebird's gentle, melodious song does not stand out sharply against the background, as do many bird songs. (Three songs of one male, Schoharie County, New York.)
Habitat: Fields, farms, orchards, open woodlands.


Catharus fuscescens

A wonderful singer. Song is a downward spiral of flutelike notes. Call is a loud descending 'chew'. (Songs of three birds, calls of one bird, Albany County, New York.)
Habitat: Damp deciduous woods.

Swainson's Thrush

Catharus ustulatus

Another fine singer, the male's song is a rising spiral of flutelike notes introduced by a soft, low buzzy note (really a short trill). The bird in this recording was engaged in a long singing bout from the top of a dead spruce tree in late evening. (One bird, Fundy National Park, New Brunswick.)
Habitat: Commonly breeds in spruce-fir and mixed forests, also in deciduous woods and along streams.

Hermit Thrush

Catharus guttatus

One of the finest avian singers. Its song is an ethereal, flute-like phrase introduced by a single simple tone. (Albany County, New York.)
Habitat: Coniferous and mixed woodlands.

Wood Thrush

Hylocichla mustelina

My personal favorite. Its song is a flute-like phrase introduced by 2-4 lower notes "bupbupbup" (an oboe?). (Two birds, Albany and Rensselaer Counties, New York.
Habitat: Deciduous woods.

American Robin

Turdus migratorius

The male's song is a loud, caroled whistle often described as cheeriup cheerio. It is composed of a few variable but closely spaced phrases which are repeated more or less completely after a pause. Here is a second Robin's song. The Robin is one of the first birds to sing in the morning and begins its almost continuous dawn song well before sunrise. The alarm call is a short, sharp seew. (Four birds, Albany County, New York.)
Habitat: Common in suburbs, city parks, woods.

Varied Thrush

Ixoreus naevius

The male's marvelously weird song adds an otherworldly tone to the forest. Here are six songs from one bird which was perched near the top of a 15 m spruce tree on a windy day. This bird usually sang a tone every 20-30 seconds. (Fairbanks area, Alaska).
Habitat: Damp, dark coniferous forest.