Ring ouzel

Ring ouzel

Turdus torquatus

The ring ouzel is a mainly European member of the thrush family Turdidae. It is a medium-sized thrush, 23–24 centimetres in length and weighing 90–138 grams . The male is predominantly black with a conspicuous white crescent across its breast. Females are browner and duller than males, and young birds may lack the pale chest markings altogether. In all but the northernmost part of its range, this is a high-altitude species, with three races breeding in mountains from Ireland east to Iran. It breeds in open mountain areas with some trees or shrubs, the latter often including heather, conifers, beech, hairy alpenrose or juniper. It is a migratory bird, leaving the breeding areas to winter in southern Europe, North Africa and Turkey, typically in mountains with juniper bushes. The typical clutch is 3–6 brown-flecked pale blue or greenish-blue eggs. They are incubated almost entirely by the female, with hatching normally occurring after 13 days. The altricial, downy chicks fledge in another 14 days and are dependent on their parents for about 12 days after fledging. The ring ouzel is omnivorous, eating invertebrates, particularly insects and earthworms, some small vertebrates, and a wide range of fruit. Most animal prey is caught on the ground. During spring migration and the breeding season, invertebrates dominate the adult's diet and are also fed to the chicks. Later in the year, fruit becomes more important, particularly the common juniper. With an extensive range and a large population, the ring ouzel is evaluated as least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature . There are signs of decline in several countries; suspected causes including climate change, human disturbance, hunting and outdoor leisure activities. Loss of junipers may also be a factor in some areas. Natural hazards include predation by mammalian carnivores and birds of prey, and locally there may also be competition from other large thrushes such as the common blackbird, mistle thrush and fieldfare.

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Habits and Lifestyle

Seasonal behavior
Bird's call

Diet and Nutrition


1. Ring ouzel Wikipedia article - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ring_ouzel
2. Ring ouzel on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22708768/155629409
3. Xeno-canto bird call - https://xeno-canto.org/700887

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