Feature Image: Wikimedia Commons. Photo By: Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren

Step foot outside any morning this time of year and let your ears be pleased by the many spring songs being sung by the variety of birds in your area. The American Goldfinch, Eastern Bluebird, American Cardinal, and many other birds are out singing their wonderful spring songs, but perhaps none can rival the unique flute-like song of the Swainson’s Thrush.

The Swainson’s Thrush is a medium-sized thrush, featuring a round head and straight bill. They feature a predominantly brown coloring with pale underparts, spotted chests and large eye rings resembling spectacles.

This being said, this private bird is more often heard than it is seen, hiding in the shadows, foraging on insects and fruits.


Their whirling song is truly what sets this bird apart from the rest.   The male’s distinctive fluting song is often used to defend territory and nesting sites as well as to attract mates. Their song has been found to differentiate from one bird to the next, but the constantly ascending whistling is usually very recognizable, especially if you have heard it before.

As stated, this bird has mastered their ventriloquial art, often noted to `project` their songs through dense foliage, as well as using soft, quiet songs to create a more long-distance illusion to their songs. For obvious reasons, this makes this particular bird quite hard to track down and view.

For the best chances of spotting this beautiful songbird in spring and summer, look and listen in heavily forested areas. If however, you are interested in getting an up-close look at this thrush and live within their range, be sure to provide excellent tree and shrub cover and ground-level bird baths

Train your ear to listen to for this unique songbird in your area this spring and summer!

Swainson’s Thrush Song


Comments (0)

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published.