VARIED THRUSH(Ixoreus naevius) – (See images below)
DESCRIPTION: The Varied Thrush male has a black head with a superciliary line extending down the nape. Throat is burnt orange and breast has a bib-like black band. Black and tail are grey. Back and tail are grey. Wings are black and grey with burnt orange bands. Under parts are burnt orange washing out in a scaly fashion. Eyes and bill are black, legs and feet are pinkish. Female has grey instead of black plumage. Bird length is about 24 cm (9 inches). There are four subspecies.
NAME: ‘Thrush’ would mean ‘to twitter’. ‘Varied’ refers to the male plumage. Latin genus name ‘Ixoreus’ means ‘mountain mistletoe’. This is because a European thrush has been associated with this plant from the time of Aristotle (Choate). Latin species name ‘naevius’ means ‘varied’.
HABITAT: Dense humid coniferous forests.
DIET: Insects, earthworms, berries.
NESTING: Nest is built in a conifer. From three to five light blue eggs are laid, incubated by female. Both parents feed the young.
DISTRIBUTION: Breeding range includes British Columbia (except the coast), Yukon and Alaska. Year-round resident along the coasts of British Columbia and of northwest USA. Winters in western USA.
Distribution Map: – /media/File:Ixoreus_naevius_map.svg
ON PEI: Does not breed on Prince Edward Island, sightings listed as ‘accidental’ (spring and winter) so far. See note below on bird vagrancy.
CONSERVATION: Numbers in steady decline, vulnerable to forests fragmentation. In spite of this, currently still not listed at risk.
NOTES: This species will establish – and aggressively defend – a territory around bird feeders.
Vagrancy: In biology this means an animal going way outside its normal range. For birds, this can happen when there are storms and they get blown off course. On other times, the bird simply wanders in a different direction than usual. Here’s an article about vagrancy in birds.
American Bird Conservancy (Varied Thrush) (Montana Field Guide) (University of Michigan)

Varied Thrush – Skagit Wildlife Area, WA – Jan. 2007 – photo by Walter Siegmund
Varied thrush, WA, Walter Siegmund
Varied Thrush – Washington, USA – Jan. 2007 – photo by Walter Siegmund
Varied thrush, Walter Siegmund
Varied Thrush, female – Washington, USA – Feb. 2009 – photo by Minette Layne
Varied thrush female, WA, Minette Layne