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Song Thrush Birdcam

The arrival of just one new born baby, in any home, is an expensive occasion, especially in recessionary times, what with Pay Cuts, Rising Food Prices, Universal Social Charges and high Unemployment.

Imagine therefore the problems experienced by Thomas and Theresa Thrush, resident here in Thurles, when quadruplets arrived on Easter Sunday last, taking up residence in their one roomed mud dwelling.

It’s hard going, feeding four babies, whose mouths are constantly open, demanding to be fed, as the video hereunder demonstrates, however the parenting skills of Thomas and Theresa seem to be “up to the mark,” despite having no previous experience in child care.

Here in Ireland the Song Thrush (Turdus Philomelos) is a very common bird, usually found breeding in forests, gardens and parks. It is easily identified by its brownish upper-parts and black-spotted  buff underparts.

The female Song Thrush builds a cup-shaped nest, beginning in the month of April. The nest is usually lined with mud and dry grass and on occasion these materials can include bits of twine and plastic paper, e.g. sweet wrappers that she finds lying about. The nests are usually found in tall hedges,trees or hidden in creeping plant such as Ivy, and approximately six feet above ground level.

Theresa this year laid four bright glossy blue eggs which were lightly spotted with black / purplish markings. She incubated her eggs, alone, for 15/16 days with occasional daily visits from her husband Thomas. The four fledgelings now born, are continuing to thrive, but their biggest threat, here in an urban setting over the coming days, will come from domestic cats and magpies.

Thomas and Theresa Thrush are both omnivorous, eating a wide range of invertebrates, but especially insects, earthworms and snails, as well as most soft fruit and berries. Garden pests such as snails are an important part of their diet during times of drought or harsh weather. These birds often use a favourite stone as an “anvil,” to smash the snail before extracting the soft fleshy interior, which it invariably wiped on the ground to remove bits of shell casing, before consumption. The Thrush can be easily observed skipping along the grass in search of food, with its head tilted to one side, since its eyes are on the side of its head.

It is easy to identify a Song Thrush by its sound which has repeated musical phrases. Indeed in the poem by the romantic poet, William Wordsworth, entitled “The Tables Turned,” he refers to the sound of the Song Thrush, and writes:

“Hark, how blithe the throstle sings, And he is no mean preacher,
Come forth into the light of things, Let Nature be your teacher.”

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