Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Day 101 - Fabulous Fieldfares

Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
Hi guys it's Day 101 and I have a lovely little bird that I don't see very often. I saw them when my family was driving next to some fields near Danby Wiske. It was a quiet little road and we just wanted to take the scenic route back home. We weren't expecting to see much but luckily we spotted some small-ish birds which weren't immediately identifiable so we stopped to have a closer look. They turned out to be Fieldfares and we had never seen this bird before. There was quite a number of them and we watched them feeding and flying around for a little while before we had to move on.

So as I hadn't seen them before I was keen to do my research, this is what I found:
Showing off its tail feathers

Basking in the sunshine

  • They are a winter visitor to the UK from north east Europe, a very few may stay to breed - as little as 1 - 2 pairs.
  • There are around 720,000 Fieldfares that visit us in the winter.
  • The RSPB gives them a Red Status as they have suffered a decline in their breeding population since 1969.
  • They are 26cm long, have a wingspan of 40cm and weigh 100grams.
  • Their latin name translates as hair thrush (turdus = thrush, pilus = hair)
  • You are most likely to see them in open countryside that has hedgerows and woodland nearby.
  • Fieldfares prefer to eat grubs and worms but if the ground is frozen they will eat windfall apples and berries.
  • Fieldfares are known to be great defenders of their territories when breeding and also of food sources in winter. They have been seen chasing off Magpies and Jays and are known to dive bomb people getting too close to their territory's when breeding. (thanks @birdbrainuk)
  • They tend to arrive in the UK in October or November, they are later if there are plenty of berries to eat in Scandinavia. They start to return in March though some may stay as late as May.
Well I hope you enjoyed reading about these birds, here's a few links if you want to want to find out more:


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