Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris) 14-12-14
Status: Common and widespread winter visitor from October to March throughout Ireland.
Conservation Concern: Green-listed in Ireland. The European population has been assessed as Secure.
Identification: About the same size as a Blackbird. Sexes and ages virtually identical. A very striking bird when seen well. Has a grey head and nape with indistinct white supercilium. The throat and breast are buffy-brown with extensive black streaks. The flanks have black arrow-markings (not spotted!), while the belly and vent are white. The back is brown, while the extensive rump is a pale grey. The tail and legs are black.
Similar Species: Blackbird, Mistle Thrush.
Call: A harsh "chack-chack", as well as high-pitched squeak. The song consists of a slow squeaky warble.
Diet: Insects, especially earthworms. Also berries and other fruit including apples.
Breeding: Does not breed in Ireland. There is a small population in Scotland (<10 pairs), but the majority breed in parks and gardens from Scandinavia and eastern France to Siberia. Frequently nests in colonies.
Wintering: Winters in open fields in lowland areas, generally avoiding suburban and urban areas. May visit gardens during very poor weather conditions.
Where to See: Common and widespread in Ireland in winter.