The Brown-headed Thrush breeds in woodland areas in the northern half of Honshu, but it can also be seen in lowland areas of western Japan in autumn and winter. Its behavior and feeding habits are similar to those of its close relative the Pale Thrush, and like the Naumann's Thrush, it is not often seen in open habitats. Its voice is similar to the Pale Thrush, but during the breeding season from spring into early summer, the male sings melodies such as “krrn-krrn-krrm-tsee”with a trembling voice.
Play birds singing
Like the Brown-headed Thrush and the Pale Thrush, birds in the Turdidae family larger than sparrows are called large thrushes. Birds in this group have shared characteristics: they eat insects and worms on the ground, they eat tree berries in autumn and winter, and they have a beautiful song. Their counterpart in Europe is the Common Blackbird (seen also in southern China, rarely in Japan), and in North America it is the American Robin. In England, the Common Blackbird appears often in books and songs, and its song is said to give the feeling of spring.
Since the Brown-headed Thrush breeds in high-altitude areas of 1,000 meters or more in the mid-region of Honshu, the best chance to hear its song in lowland areas is in March and April, just before it leaves for its breeding grounds (in Hokkaido, it arrives from April to May, and also breeds in lowland areas). It has one hasone song that sounds like three words threewords, “Come on come on, kiss.”
In Karuizawa, one of the top three places for finding birds in Japan (the others being Okunikko and the base of Mt. Fuji), the song of the Brown-headed Thrush is being heard less and less. The result of an analysis by a researcher who has been recording the singing of wild birds in Karuizawa at the beginning of summer for 22 years, since 1987, is that up to 1989 the singing was to the point of being noisy, but it declined gradually from around 2000, and it declined sharply from 2004. It seems that the drop-off in singing by the Brown-headed Thrush is particularly noticeable in the decline.
During the non-breeding season of autumn and winter, some Brown-headed Thrush migrate to the southern part of China, however, their breeding ground is limited to the area from central Honshu north to Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands. We can say that it would be a big problem if the numbers were to decline in Japan, including the region where you live.
The adult male, as seen in the photo, has a richer body coloring than the female and its face is darker. Females and young birds have greyish throats, and some have a white supercilium.
The Izu Thrush looks very similar to the Brown-headed Thrush. The male's head is darker than that of the Brown-headed Thrush and its yellow eye ring stands out. At first glance, it looks similar to the American Robin, but it can be found only on the Izu Islands and the Tokara Islands of Japan.
Canon sites where this bird is seen