L 22-27 cm. Breeds in various types of woodland and bush scrub, also in parks, avenues of trees and gardens. Food in summer worms and insects. In Britain & Ireland, very rare local breeder; abundant passage and winter visitor, large flocks on open fields and other grassy areas, also taking rowan berries, fallen fruit etc. Often nests in small colonies (for extra protection against corvids, which are actively pursued in flight and sometimes bombarded with excrement); twig nest rather high up in treetops, often in a main fork.
IDENTIFICATION: Big, long-tailed, stocky thrush. In flight, apart from tail length, identified by light grey rump (shows well from behind), white underwings (shown otherwise only by Mistle Thrush) and rather flapping, less undulating flight. Red-brown back and grey crown/nape. Heavily spotted below, and breast has rusty-yellow tinge. Sexes similar. - Juvenile: Identified by pale spots on wing-coverts.
VOICE: Migrants utter a squeaky ‘gih’ and also chattering ‘schack-schackschack’. When pursuing crows, gives furious chatter. Song simple, a few chattering notes with no clear structure, short pause, more chatter and so on. In song-flight, gives ecstatically chattering, drawn-out, faster song.