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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Wood Thrush -- Hylocichla mustelina

RANGE: Breeds from southeastern North Dakota, northern Michigan, northern Vermont, southwestern Maine, and Nova Scotia south to east-central Texas, the Gulf Coast and northern Florida, and west to eastern South Dakota, central Kansas, and eastern Oklahoma. Winters from southern Texas south to Central America.

STATUS: Common.

HABITAT: Inhabits cool, mature, lowland deciduous or mixed forests, particularly damp situations and near swamps or water. In New England, also found on wooded slopes; has adapted to gardens and city parks.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Deciduous or mixed forests with tall trees.

NEST: Builds a compact cup nest on a horizontal limb, in a fork of a sapling or tree, or well hidden in dense shrubbery, generally 6 to 50 feet (average 10 feet) above ground.

FOOD: Gleans most of its food from the ground, but occasionally gleans insects from tree foliage. Eats insects, spiders, snails, earthworms, and berries.

REFERENCES: Beal 1915b, Brackbill 1943, DeGraff et al. 1980, Forbush and May 1955, Terres 1980.

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