Varied Thrush

The varied thrush (Ixoreus naevius) is a member of the thrush family, Turdidae. It breeds in western North America from Alaska to northern California. It is migratory, with northern breeders moving south within or somewhat beyond the breeding range.

It nests in Alaska, Yukon Territory, and the mountains in British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon. It prefers moist conifer forest and is most common in dense, older conifer forests in high elevations. It moves to lower elevations during the winter where it is often seen in towns and orchards and thickets, or migrates to California.

The varied thrush is predominantly insectivorous, though its diet varies throughout the course of the year. During the summer, ground-dwelling arthropods make up the bulk of its diet. During migration and winter, however, the focus of the thrush’s diet shifts to fruits, seeds, and acorns, though arthropods are still taken in some quantity. Varied thrushes consume a wide variety of berries throughout the year, including snowberry, red huckleberry, California honeysuckle, madrone, salmonberry, and thimbleberry.

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