Ring Ouzel (Turdus torquatus)

Ring Ouzel

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Turdidae | [latin] Turdus torquatus | [UK] Ring Ouzel | [FR] Merle a plastron | [DE] Ringdrossel | [ES] Mirlo de Capa Blanca | [NL] Beflijster


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Turdus torquatus EU w, sw n AF
Turdus torquatus alpestris
Turdus torquatus amicorum
Turdus torquatus torquatus

Physical charateristics

Medium-sized, restless thrush, round-headed but otherwise rather attenuated, having noticeably long, sharp-cornered tail. Differs from all other west Palearctic thrushes in combination of dark plumage, pale chest-band and wing-panel, and more or less prominent scaling of underparts.
Voice distinctive. Sexes dissimilar, distinct seasonal variation.

Listen to the sound of Ring Ouzel

[audio:http://www.aviflevoland.nl/sounddb/R/Ring Ouzel.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 42 cm wingspan max.: 48 cm
size min.: 24 cm size max.: 27 cm
incubation min.: 12 days incubation max.: 14 days
fledging min.: 14 days fledging max.: 14 days
broods: 2   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 6  


Eurasia : West, Southwest


Breeds in upper and middle latitudes, largely oceanic upland in former and continental montane in latter, tolerating exposure to high winds and rainfall, but generally avoiding ice and persistent snow.


Breeds April-June in Britain and Ireland, May-June in Scandinavia. Nest site is built on ground in low vegetaion, or on rock-ledge or in cervic, rarely in tree. Nest almost always has backing or flanking wall or cliff or overhang on earth bank. Nest is comprised of 3 parts, thick and compact external layer of twigs, thin, and sometimes incomplete, plastering of mud mixed with broken grass leaves and moss, covering bottom and lower part of walls, and thick lining of delicate grass blades or, occasionally, rootlets.
3-6 eggs are laid, incubation 12-14 days, mostly by female.

Feeding habits

In spring and early summer, adult and larval insects and earthworms, at other times, mainly fruit.
Feeds on ground and in trees and bushes. When collecting food for young will accumulate pile of prey on ground before carrying it all off.


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Turdus torquatus has a patchy breeding distribution in Europe, which constitutes
>95% of its global breeding range. Its European breeding population is large (>310,000
pairs), and was stable between 1970-1990. Although there were marked declines in
certain countries?notably the United Kingdom and Czech Republic?during 1990-
2000, key populations in Austria, Switzerland, Romania and Russia were stable, and
the species remained stable overall.

Ring Ouzel status Least Concern


Winters from n Mediterranean area s to n Africa and Iran. (Sibley Charles G. 1996)

Distribution map

Ring Ouzel distribution range map

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