Varied Thrushes are between 7 and 10 inches with a wingspan of 13-17 inches. They are small birds but are big in comparison to other thrushes. Males and females don’t look very different except females’ features are a bit lighter in color and their wings aren’t dark grey like the males’.
Varied Thrushes are popular in backyards; seen at the feeder or nesting in trees. In the Pacific Northwest, they live in mature forests (usually cluttered with types of alder and spruce trees). These thrushes breed in the northern areas and western areas of North America, migrating towards the south, but usually not exceeding their breeding range. Varied Thrushes will sometimes live year round in areas towards / along the west coast.
They forage on the ground, frequently stopping to fly to higher perches in the under-story, to sing or just to move from 1 foraging site to the other. Varied Thrushes threaten other thrushes (usually just nest intruders) by cocking their tails then turning it toward them and then finally lowering their wings. Males may also defend small areas that surround bird feeders that they have claimed as theirs,though females mostly avoid competing against other thrushes.
Nesting and Nestlings:
Females choose where the nest is located which is usually in a mature forest, in a tree with other old nests in it (sometimes building her nest inside an already made nest). Females do all of the construction of the nest, gathering materials like alder, fir, spruce or hemlock twigs and using it to make the outside layer of the nest. She’ll gather types of moss and grass construct a middle layer of the nest which then becomes hard and makes a firmer shaped nest. Nests are usually around 4 inches across and 2 inches deep.
The females will lay from 1-6 eggs which are a baby-blue color and sometimes have tiny brown spots. She alone incubates her eggs for a little less than two weeks (about 12 days). When the eggs hatch, they are fed by both parents and leave within a couple of days. Parents may have 1-2 broods per season.
Varied Thrushes mainly eat berries and seeds but will sometimes eat acorns, insects, anthropoids and invertebrates.