Wood Thrush not very common here

All of the thrush family are very good singers. In North America, there are several species which qualify, including the robin and the bluebird.
In the Old World, there are many thrushes, including the famous nightingale.
In Northwestern Ontario, we have our share of these fine-singing birds, including the Veery, the Hermit Thrush, and so on. But there is one thrush, a very fine singer, too, who is not very common here at all. That is the Wood Thrush (Hylocychla mustelins).
This bird–a cousin to the robin–acts a lot like him. For one thing, it gets most of its food from the ground. In the forest, it forages among the leaves and grasses for worms, grubs, and other insects.
In town, around your house, it acts much as the robin does, pulling up worms from the lawn and searching the garden for other good stuff.
In some parts of the States, this bird is called the Wood Robin.
It is a good-sized bird, a bit smaller than a robin. Its top half is brown, with a distinctly reddish tinge to its head and neck area. The bottom half is white or light buffy.
What sets this thrush apart from all the others is the presence of large, round, black markings all over its underparts. The others have breast marks which are sort of streaky.
The nest of this bird also is very much like that of the robin. A good firm base, made solid with mud or muddy grass, and lined with fine grass, it is always found quite low to the ground, in shrubs or thick bushes.
Although the bulk of this thrush’s food is made up of animal matter (bugs, worms, and so on) it, also like the robin, turns to fruit when available. Cherries, blueberries, and crabapples all become fair game.
The song of the Wood Thrush is certainly one of the most beautiful in North America. If that is true, then the Hermit Thrush must be a very close second.
The song which you hear most often, repeated several times, is something like “Whee-o-lea, whee-o-lea, whee-o-lea.” Various folk have described this as “bell-like” or “flute-like.”
Many times in Nova Scotia, on a quiet, still evening, I have listened to half-a-dozen Wood Thrushes singing. This is a really beautiful situation, giving a sensation of an ethereal, out-of-this-world experience.
The Wood Thrush is fairly common in the most southerly parts of Canada, including southern Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritimes. It is not yet a common resident of Northwestern Ontario but it does nest in the Sault Ste. Marie area, and probably in the Rainy River-Kenora area, too.
It has been seen in other places along the north shore of Lake Superior. It seems to be extending its range so, if we are lucky, maybe it will move more fully into our north.
As you go about your chores in the garden, or wander through the trees, keep your eyes and ears open for the Wood Thrush. Even though it is scarce, wherever it lives, it is a real asset.

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