Species at Risk

Wood Thrush

Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustelina)

wood thrush

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

Quick Facts:

  • 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:

  1. Tree removal that eliminates the closed canopy conditions needed by this species.
  2. Activities that can introduce or encourage the growth of invasive plants, such as dumping of garden waste and off-trail ATV use.
  3. Activities that eliminate patches of dense understory or reduce structural complexity on the forest floor: Natural succession and canopy closure, excessive deer browsing.
  4. 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).

More information:

Species At Risk Public Registry Profile

 Ontario Species at Risk Profile

Funding for this project was provided through the Species At Risk Stewardship Fund