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Thrush

thrushes, birds and american

THRUSH, a bird of the passerine family Turdidce, a family which contains some of the most familiar and attractive birds, and most of the best songsters of the world. They are characteristically but not entirely migratory. A few are only five or six inches in length, but the American robin (q.v.), eight inches is a typical form; and most of them are elegant in form and pleasingly but not gaudily colored. The thrushes are divisible into five subfamilies. The thrushes proper (Turdince) are represented by such familiar forms as the American blue bird, robin, woodthnish, shy northern hermit and olive-backed thrushes, noted for their . richly melodious songs, the English blackbird, song-thrush, missel-thrush and fieldfare, besides the nightingale, robin-redbreast, hedgesparrow and many related forms in other parts of the world, most of which are elsewhere described under their names. Three American thrushes of this group call for brief mention, namely, the hermit thrush (Hylocichla pallasit), which is migrant through the Eastern States, breeding in the far north, and is noted for its grand song, which has been said to express "serene religious the olive-back or Swain son's thrush (Hylocichla ustulata), distin guished by the olive tint of its upper parts, and also a sweet-voiced emigrant; and the tawny thrush (see VEERY). In all of these the

young are spotted, although the adults may be uniformly colored.

The second subfamily is composed of the genera Myiodectes and Cichlopsis. The third contains the Old World warblers (Sylviince), fantails, kinglets (qq.v.) and the like; the fourth (Potioptilince), the gnat-catchers (q.v.); and the fifth (Miming), the mocking-birds, thrashers (qq.v.) and related forms, many of which seem to imitate other birds, composing their own songs out of a medley of other notes, although the report of this tendency has usually been exaggerated; this last subfamily is by the most modern ornithologists separated from the thrushes and put with the wrens. Consult Evans,