The largest thrush in North America. Overall length 25 cm, average body mass 77 g. Male has deep grayish to dark-brown upperparts with blackish head, white crescents above and below eye, rich reddish underparts with white throat streaked with black and white undertail-coverts. Bill is yellow. Female is similar but paler overall (Sallabanks et al. 1999).
For a comprehensive review of the conservation status, habitat use, and ecology of this and other Montana bird species, please see Marks et al. 2016, Birds of Montana.
Western Hemisphere Range
In the Bozeman area, normal migration periods are March 2 to May 5 and September 1 to November 1.
Most widespread North American thrush. Frequents forest, woodland, and gardens, breeding primarily where lawns and other short-grass areas are interspersed with shrubs and trees, such as residential areas, towns, farmyards, and parks (Sallabanks et al. 1999).
Invertebrates and fruit (Sallabanks et al. 1999).
Territory sizes average 3.65 acres in Douglas fir forests in western Montana.
Near Fortine, the first brood egg dates are April 29 to July 12. The earliest 2nd brood is June 1, the 1st brood fledging is May 22 to August 2, and the 2nd brood fledging is June 22 to July 31. Statewide, eggs first appear in mid-May, with nesting into mid-August.