Fieldfare Turdus pilaris   [Linnaeus, 1758]

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Order: Passeriformes Family: Turdidae
BTO Codes: FF, FIELD EURING No: 11980
Number in Britain: 680 thousand birds (Winter)
Conservation Status:
European: Not a species of concern(Winte
Global: (Details)
Status in UK: (A)  Scarce Breeder, Passage/Winter Visitor
Subspecies: Monotypic
Length: 26 cm Wingspan: 40 cm Weight: M/F: 100 g    
Scientific name from: L.: turdus=a thrush and L.: pilus=hair (from misreading of Gr.: trikhas=thrush and trikhos=hair
World Distribution: BREEDS: n&c Eurasia, WINTERS: south to n Africa
Habitat: Forest, woodland, towns
Diet: Invertebrates and fruit (esp. in winter)
TitBit: The fieldfare is particularly pugnacious in defending its nest against egg-thieves - often by bombarding them its faeces, smaller birds often nest close by to benefit from some extra protection.  
Identification Tips:
  Images from IBC or search flickr
  Videos from IBC
  Sound from xeno-canto
Crossley ID photos BTO ID Workshop

Population and Distribution

Population Trend: No population trend available
Distribution: No distribution maps available
British Population Size:
    Winter: 680 thousand individuals in 1981 - 1984
    Summer: 1 to . Pairs in
    First Record: Recorded in Medieval times [Fossil evidence from
    First Breeding Record: Orkney 1967
    Latest Survey: Musgrove, A. et al. (2013) British Birds 106:64-100
    Conservation Status: RED because Recent Breeding Population Decline (1969-2007),
   Previous Assessments: 2002-2007 AMBER     1996-2001 AMBER  
   Races of Concern:
Habitat Occupancy (in the Breeding Season):
    No habitat data from BBS
Migration routes: Map of foreign ringing recoveries  and summary map from Time to Fly (in pop-up windows)
European Population Size:
    Summer: 4 to 7 million pairs   (Trend in Numbers)
Population Assesment from Birds in Europe
Distribution in Europe mapped by the EBCC Atlas
Listed on the Appendices/Schedules of: WCA(I,IV), WBD(II*), Bern(III), Bonn(II)
Survey Results: Results from BirdTrack
Results from Garden BirdWatch
Results from the Winter Farmland Bird Survey

Breeding and Survival

Egg Size: 29 x 21 mm Egg Weight: 6.8 g (of which 5 % is shell)
Number of Nest Records: 0
Clutch Size: 5 - 6 eggs
Incubation: 11- 14 days   by the: Female
Fledging: 12 - 16days as: Altricial, downy
First Clutches Laid: Unavailable
Number of Broods: 1-2
Number Ringed: Annual Totals
Adult Survival: 0.410       
Juvenile Survival: 0.310 (in First-Year)  
Age at First Breeding: 1 year Typical Lifespan: 2 years
Maximum Recorded Age: 14 years 8 months 24 days (set in 2010)
Read a summary of Ringing Recoveries


Ring Size: C
Wing Length Adult: 148.2 ± 4.2 Range 142 - 155 mm, N =5122
Juvenile: 147.1 ± 4.1 141 - 153 mm, N =2216
Male: 150.2 ± 3.7 144 - 156 mm, N =2259
Female: 146.6 ± 3.9 140 - 153 mm, N =2696
Weight Adult: 109.3 ± 10.68 Range 92.00 - 127.0 g , N =4394
Juvenile: 107.9 ± 10.55 89.60 - 124.0 g , N =1830
Male: 111.2 ± 10.42 94.00 - 127.0 g , N =1920
Female: 107.9 ± 10.61 91.00 - 125.0 g , N =2343
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Ringing Scheme data

Other Names

Gaelic: Liath-thruisg Welsh: Socan Eira
Danish: Sjagger Dutch: Kramsvogel
Finnish: Räkättirastas French: Grive litorne
German: Wacholderdrossel Hungarian: Fenyörigó
Icelandic: Gráþröstur Irish: Sacán
Italian: Cesena Norwegian: Gråtrost
Polish: Kwiczol Portuguese: Tordo-zornal
Spanish: Zorzal real Swedish: Björktrast

For More Information...

Books and Monographs:
   Norman, D. 1994 The fieldfare Hamlyn, London [598.911 NOR]
   Simms, E. 1978 British Thrushes Collins, London [598.911 SIM]
See Also:
Find scientific papers on Google Scholar or Scirus by clicking the icon
Wikipedia entry
HBW account (subscription required)
BirdLife species page
Recent sightings and information from BirdGuides