Thrush, the common name for a family of perching songbirds. Members of this family are found in almost all regions of the world. The family includes some of the world's most highly regarded songbirds, such as the nightingale and wood thrush. There are more than 300 species, divided into various groups, including the typical thrushes, bluebirds, solitaires, chat thrushes, and forest thrushes. In general, thrushes are dull-colored with spotted breasts; some species, such as the American robin and the bluebird, have bright plumage.
Thrushes range in length from 5 to 10 inches (12.5 to 25 cm). Insects are their chief food. Many also eat small fruit. The females lay from three to five greenish-blue eggs in cup-shaped nests.
The typical thrushes, found primarily in Europe and Asia, include the European blackbird, ring ouzel, mistle thrush, and American robin (the only typical thrush found in North America). .) The bluebirds are North American birds. .) Almost all solitaires are found in tropical America; only one species, the Townsend's solitaire, is found in North America. The chat thrushes form a group of Old World birds that includes the nightingale. .)
Some of the most common thrushes of North America belong to a group of forest thrushes that includes the hermit, wood, and gray-cheeked thrushes, Swainson's thrush, and the veery. .) These birds are brown above and white (or white with spots) below. They are all good singers. The hermit thrush is distinctive for its reddish-brown tail.
Thrushes make up the family Turdidae. The wood thrush is Hylocichla mustelina; the hermit thrush, Catharus guttatus; the gray-cheeked thrush, C. minimus; Swainson's thrush, C. ustulatus; the veery, C. fuscescens.