Living environment and biology of the species
The wood thrush nests in woodlands and semi-open mosaic habitats, near arable land or in abandoned corvid nests along tree and shrub lines, in parks or plantations, in old orchards, tree and shrub cemeteries, in various wooded areas in or near localities.
In Romania it is widespread in wooded and semi-wooded habitats throughout the country,
from lowland and lowland areas to the high hills.
It nests in the nests of crows, coots and other corvids. In winter it gathers in groups of several dozen or more.
During the day it hides in the trees, and in the evening and at night it hunts in the fields around villages, where it captures field mice or other small mammals, small birds or even insects. Prey is located mainly by sound. It hunts by silently flying slightly above the ground, suddenly swooping down on prey. Sometimes it also hunts by lying in wait on various supports.
It is a monogamous species. It exhibits territorial behaviour, but pairs can often be located quite close together, 50-150 m apart. The male marks its territory with wingbeats that sound like small clicks, but also with vocal emissions. It nests in forest patches in old nests of other species such as crows, coots, other corvids, less often on the ground at the base of trunks or in tall grass. Feeds mostly on mice, the rest of the food is provided by small birds. It is a nocturnal arboreal bird. It does not hunt by day, usually sitting near the trunk of a tree.
In Romania, the wood thrush is often heard breeding on the outskirts of villages or on tree or bush lines.
In winter, several dozen or hundreds of individuals congregate in sheltered, windless places with rich vegetation, usually in tuia or other ornamental conifers in front of buildings, schools, kindergartens or even in people’s yards. At the base of the trees that shelter the thickets, large numbers of English conifers can be seen.
It lays 4-6 eggs at two-day intervals from mid-March, sometimes even earlier, until early April. Eggs are white. elliptical, smooth, with fine pores. The female broods for 27-32 days, during which time she is fed by the male. The chicks are nestlings and are fed by the female on food brought by the male. The chicks leave the nest after about 21 days but remain in the vegetation in the nest area and are fed by the adults. They become capable of flight at about 35 days. Under abundant feeding conditions, the female may also lay her second clutch.
It is a monogamous species. The nest is built by both partners in 5-6 weeks. It consists of an earthen cup lined with roots, grass and hairs, held in a structure made of branches. The nest usually has two entrances. It is positioned in a tree or bush, a few feet off the ground. The female lays 4-9 grey-green eggs with brownish spots. Incubation is carried out by the female and lasts 16-21 days, during which time the female is fed by the male. Both parents feed the young, but it is the male that guards the nest. Juveniles fly from the nest after 25-29 days, but the family stays together until autumn.