FieldfareTurdus pilaris


  • Kingdon: Animalia
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Familie: Turdidae
  • Genre: Turdus
  • Species: Turdus pilaris  

Identification characters

The fieldfare is a songbird with a body length of 22-27 cm. It weighs 81-141 g. It can be seen especially in winter, when it is very gregarious and can form large flocks, especially in open areas.

The sexes are similar. The appearance is bony and the tail is long and black. The tit is light grey. The back is reddish-brown and the crown and nape are grey. The ventral is whitish with black spots and the breast has a yellowish-red tinge. In flight the contrast between the dark remiges and the light-coloured underparts is noticeable.

Juveniles are distinguished by the white spots on the supraventral.

The song is simple, consisting of a few notes without a clear structure, with short pauses followed by many trills.s


The fieldfare is a species found throughout Europe, Asia and northern Africa. It can exceptionally be seen in the United States, Canada, Japan or the Arab Emirates. Migration is more of a movement to the plains in winter, forming large flocks in search of food.


The European population represents 40% of the world population, with between 14 200 000 and 28 600 000 breeding pairs. Between 1980 and 2013 the trend was stable.


In Romania, the breeding population of the fieldfare ranges from 259 235 to 516 465 pairs, with a long-term upward trend. The first information on the nesting of the species in our country dates back to 1960, in northern Romania.

Living environment and biology of the species

The fieldfare nests on the edges of forests, groves, plantations, parks and gardens.

In our country, the species nests in Transylvania and locally in Moldova, in hilly and mountainous regions.

Outside the nesting season, this species is the most gregarious of all thrushes.


During migration, they gather in their thousands. Many individuals defend their winter feeding grounds. Maximum longevity is 18 years and one month. Reaches sexual maturity at the age of one year.


The cockatoo is an omnivorous species. It feeds on invertebrates such as various insects, snails, worms and spiders, but in winter it also eats fruit. It feeds on the ground, in flight, or in the crown of trees. Its plant food is very varied, consisting of fruits of the mistletoe, elderberry, juniper, sorghum, cherries, apples, pears, blackberries, strawberries and various seeds.

The coconut is a monogamous species, but a pair rarely stays together for more than 2 years. It breeds both solitary and colonial, up to 40-50 pairs, especially in northern populations. Breeding season begins in late April. There may be two clutches per year, each consisting of 3-7 bluish eggs with small, brownish spots. It is the female that builds the nest in the trees at the base of thick branches, supported by the trunk, and the male just supervises during construction. The cup-shaped, very strong nest is made of branches and leaves, lined on the inside with soil, moss and sometimes hair or wool. The eggs are incubated for 10-13 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fly out of the nest after about 12-15 days. They are cared for and fed by the parents for another 2-3 weeks after leaving the nest.

Threats and conservation measures

Today, the fieldfare is threatened by habitat modification, fragmentation and loss due to agricultural activities or land use change, contamination by agricultural products, hunting and poaching;


The following measures should be considered for conservation: correlating forestry work with the biology of the species to avoid disturbance during the breeding season, maintaining undergrowth in logged forests, prohibiting deforestation that leads to a reduction in forest area, maintaining and increasing the extent of native forests, aiming for the highest level of structural and species diversity, promoting management types that favour forest heterogeneity, maintaining a mosaic of habitats with the presence of tree and shrub stands in open agricultural areas, maintaining and emphasising corridors between areas of spontaneous grassland including trees, reducing the use of insecticides and herbicides in agriculture and forestry. Where necessary and in the absence of alternatives, the use of substances with minimal toxicity and persistence should be justified and applied on the breeding grounds of the species only outside the breeding season. Cooperation between conservation organisations, hunting organisations, the gendarmerie and the Environmental Guard aims to ensure compliance with hunting legislation and control poaching.


It is important to carry out an inventory of current and potential breeding areas, identify important areas for the conservation of the species, promote studies on various aspects of the biology of the species, including demographic parameters.


  • Fântână Ciprian, Kovács Istvan, Benkő Zoltán, Daròczi Szilárd, Domșa Cristian, Veres-Szászka Judit (editors), 2022, Atlas of bird species of community interest in Romania, 2nd edition – Love birds, save nature!, Project financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Large Infrastructure Operational Programme 2014-2020, Ministry of Environment, Water and Forests- Biodiversity Directorate, scientific coordination Romanian Ornithological Society and Association for the Protection of Birds and Nature Milvus Group, produced by EXCLUS PROD SRL, p. 430-431;
  • Lars Svensson, Hakan Delin, 1988, Photographic guide to the birds of Britain and Europe, Passerines p. 250, Chancellor Press, London
  • Svensson (text and maps), 2017, Guide to bird identification. Europe and the Mediterranean area, translation and adaptation in Romanian: Romanian Ornithological Society, Emanuel Ștefan Baltag, Sebastian Bugariu, Alida Barbu, p.294;
  • Radu Dimitrie, 1983, Small Ornithological Atlas – Birds of the World, Albatros Publishing House, Bucharest, p. ;
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