Yorkshire wildlife, from red kites to hares, hedgehogs, and seals. Notes on the animals and birds, including description, behaviour and life cycle, plus our own photos.
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Song thrush at Staveley nature reserve
The song thrush in Yorkshire.
Thrushes (turdidae) are a large family of passerine birds. The song thrush is Turdus philomelos.
Song thrushes are resident in Britain and Ireland all year round, as well as in other parts of Europe including France, the north of Spain, central Italy, and some more eastern areas. They also breed further north and east (Germany, Scandinavia, the Baltic States, Russia), but these individuals head south for the winter, including to Britain.
They favour open woodland, parks, and gardens.
The song thrush is similar to a mistle thrush, but smaller (20-22cm compared to 26-29cm).
The breast is white, but with some yellow-brown colouring around the edges, and with arrow-head dark brown spots.
Song thrushes spend part of their time on the ground. They hop forward rapidly, then freeze as they search for food. They will take snails in the beaks, and smash the shells against something hard - a stone, the surface of a path, or the road. Song thrushes are also found in trees and bushes, eating fruit and berries.
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The brown hare, or European hare, is a charismatic wild resident of Yorkshire. This non-native species has been in Britain since Roman times at least. Preferring arable land, or grassland with hedges, brown hares are most likely to be seen in the spring. That's the time of year when they may display 'boxing' behaviour.
Read about the brown hare.
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