Saturday, 14 April 2012

Ring Ouzel (Turdus torquatus)

OTHER NAMES: Mountain Blackbird
Latin Etymology: Turdus ("thrush") torquatus ("collared")
Two adult male Ring Ouzel (subspecies T. t. torquatusat Nene Washes, Cambridgeshire - April 2012

Subspecies: Turdus torquatus torquatus
Weight: 90-138kg  /  Length: 23-24cm  /  Wingspan: 38-42cm
UK RED LIST / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

Known as "The Mountain Blackbird", the Ring Ouzel is effectively just that - with the bright white collar around its neck being the only immediately obvious sign you are looking at a Ring Ouzel rather than a blackbird.  It is the only Summer-migrant thrush we have in the UK, arriving in March and April and leaving again in September.  It's habitat is upland where they breed amoung rocks, however, they can also be seen on passage in a wide variety of places, particularly along the East and South coasts, which are probably the closest to most people, but they can turn up anywhere and these two here turned up entirely unexpectedly in the Nene Washes!  Finally, a massive thanks to Paige Hunter for spotting these two for me while I was looking at other things!

Related Species:
Family: Turdidae
Genus: Turdus
Subspecies: T. t. torquatus, T. t. alpestris, T. t. amicorum

 - Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - Scarce and very local breeding Summer migrant (6,200-7,500 pairs)
 - Two passage birds seen at Nene Washes in April 2012

Further Notes: 
BirdForum OpusIUCN Red ListRSPBWikipedia, Xeno-canto

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