Bicknell’s Thrush

Bicknell’s Thrush nests in disturbed, often regenerating or stunted forests with some undergrowth, usually at higher elevations. Such habitats can be the product of damage by ice, fire, or storms or of human activities, such as timber harvest or trail construction. Through much of the breeding range, balsam fir is a key tree species, with red spruce, black spruce, white birch, and mountain-ash also typically present. Such habitats occur only in higher elevations in New York (above 3,600 feet) but occur much lower in the northern parts of range, such as New Brunswick (as low as 1,500 feet).

Bicknell’s also breeds in spruce-fir forests on the coast of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, at much lower elevations. In most breeding locations, the ground is mossy, the trees are small and grow close together, and there are plenty of fallen trees, dead trees, and snags. Observing birds in this dense environment can be difficult, but Bicknell’s does favor areas with edges for nesting. Migrating birds seek out structurally similar habitats, in both spring and fall, especially overgrown woodlots with abundant invertebrates or fruit. In the Greater Antilles, wintering birds inhabit wet montane forests.





Sounds provided by Macaulay Library.