Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustelina)
Status in Canada: Not yet listed; assessed as Threatened in 2012
Status in Ontario: Not yet listed
Status at SWCR: Common breeding bird
This robin-sized migratory songbird has a distinctive white eye-ring and spotted belly. The Wood Thrush is widely distributed in deciduous and mixed forests across southern Ontario
- The distinctive song of this species is an ethereal, flutelike “ee-oh-lay” sung especially at dawn and dusk.
- It requires closed canopy deciduous forests with a dense shrubby understory.
- Adults return to the same breeding territories every year.
Threats at the St. Williams Conservation Reserve:
Habitat loss/degradation: related to forest succession, habitat fragmentation, invasive plants, and residential development.
Activities that can damage critical Wood thrush habitat include:
- Tree removal that eliminates the closed canopy conditions needed by this species.
- Activities that can introduce or encourage the growth of invasive plants, such as dumping of garden waste and off-trail ATV use.
- Activities that eliminate patches of dense understory or reduce structural complexity on the forest floor: Natural succession and canopy closure, excessive deer browsing.
- Activities that interfere with understory shrubs, unauthorized plant collecting and off-trail ATV use.
St. Williams Conservation Reserve management practices:
- Population monitoring
- Invasive plant control
- Enforcement of unauthorized trail use
What you can do to help:
- Follow the code of conduct for recreational activities in the Conservation Reserve and know and respect the current trail-use regulations.
- Clean you boots, bicycle tires, or ATV before and after visiting the SWCR or other natural areas to avoid spreading invasive plant seeds.
- Report sightings to the SWCR CC, Bird Studies Canada (www.ebird.ca or 1-888-448-2473), or the Natural Heritage Information Centre.
- Report unauthorized trail use or any illegal activity related to plants and wildlife to 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667).