[order] Passeriformes | [family] Turdidae | [latin] Turdus torquatus | [UK] Ring Ouzel | [FR] Merle ŕ plastron | [DE] Ringdrossel | [ES] Mirlo de Capa Blanca | [IT] Merlo dal collare | [NL] Beflijster

Beflijster determination

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Medium-sized, restless thrush, round-headed but otherwise rather attenuated, having noticeably long, sharp-cornered tail. Differs from all other west Palearctic thrushes in combination of dark plumage, pale chest-band and wing-panel, and more or less prominent scaling of underparts. Voice distinctive. Sexes dissimilar, distinct seasonal variation.

Breeds in upper and middle latitudes, largely oceanic upland in former and continental montane in latter, tolerating exposure to high winds and rainfall, but generally avoiding ice and persistent snow.

Turdus torquatus has a patchy breeding distribution in Europe, which constitutes >95% of its global breeding range. Its European breeding population is large (>310,000 pairs), and was stable between 1970-1990. Although there were marked declines in certain countries—notably the United Kingdom and Czech Republic—during 1990- 2000, key populations in Austria, Switzerland, Romania and Russia were stable, and the species remained stable overall.

In spring and early summer, adult and larval insects and earthworms, at other times, mainly fruit. Feeds on ground and in trees and bushes. When collecting food for young will accumulate pile of prey on ground before carrying it all off.

This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 100,000-1,000,000 km˛. It has a large global population, including an estimated 610,000-1,300,000 individuals in Europe (BirdLife International in prep.). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern. [conservation status from birdlife.org]

Breeds April-June in Britain and Ireland, May-June in Scandinavia. Nest site is built on ground in low vegetaion, or on rock-ledge or in cervic, rarely in tree. Nest almost always has backing or flanking wall or cliff or overhang on earth bank. Nest is comprised of 3 parts, thick and compact external layer of twigs, thin, and sometimes incomplete, plastering of mud mixed with broken grass leaves and moss, covering bottom and lower part of walls, and thick lining of delicate grass blades or, occasionally, rootlets. 3-6 eggs are laid, incubation 12-14 days, mostly by female.

Winters from n Mediterranean area s to n Africa and Iran. (Sibley Charles G. 1996)