Hylocichla mustelina


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Hylocichla mustelina
Species Authority: (Gmelin, 1789)
Common Name(s):
English Wood Thrush
Catharus mustelinus mustelinus Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993)

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2014-07-24
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Cheskey, T.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Symes, A. & Taylor, J.
This species has been uplisted to Near Threatened on the basis of evidence that it has undergone a moderately rapid population decline over the past three generations.
2012 Least Concern

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Hylocichla mustelina is a widespread breeding visitor to the eastern USA and south-eastern Canada, wintering in southern Mexico and Central America, south to Panama.
Belize; Canada; Colombia; Costa Rica; Cuba; El Salvador; Guatemala; Honduras; Mexico; Nicaragua; Panama; United States
Bahamas; Bermuda; Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba; Cayman Islands; Curaçao; Dominican Republic; Falkland Islands (Malvinas); Haiti; Iceland; Jamaica; Portugal; Puerto Rico; Saint Pierre and Miquelon; Sint Maarten (Dutch part); Turks and Caicos Islands; United Kingdom
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is characterised as common.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species breeds in the interior and edge of a variety of deciduous and mixed forest communities, preferring those with a moderate shrub/subcanopy layer and fairly open forest floor, shade, moist soil and decaying leaf litter (del Hoyo et al. 2005). On passage, the species frequents secondary growth and forest edge. In its non-breeding range, it occupies the interior understorey of humid to semi-humid broad-leaved evergreen and semi-deciduous forest and mixed palm forest, also occurring in secondary growth, low-stature forest, thickets and plantations. It feeds mainly on soil-dwelling invertebrates, and takes fruit from late summer to early spring. It breeds from early May to late August, with pairs typically raising two broods. It is predominantly monogamous, with rare instances of polygyny. Pairs bonds usually last for a single season. It is a long-distance nocturnal migrant, leaving its breeding areas in mid-August to mid-September and crossing the Gulf of Mexico on a broad front from Texas to Florida, and making landfall from Veracruz, Mexico to Costa Rica (del Hoyo et al. 2005).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The primary threat to the species is likely to be the clearance and fragmentation of forests in both its breeding and non-breeding ranges, with pairs breeding in fragmented habitat suffering higher levels of nest predation and brood parasitism (del Hoyo et al. 2005). Acid rain is also thought to impact breeding success by leaching calcium out of the soil, which is necessary for healthy egg production (del Hoyo et al. 2005).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
This species has been the subject of targeted research and its population trends are captured through established survey programmes.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Continue to monitor population trends through established citizen science programmes. Investigate the possible causes of the decline. Carry out habitat restoration for the species. Increase the area of suitable habitat that receives formal and effective protection in both its breeding and non-breeding ranges.

Citation: BirdLife International 2014. Hylocichla mustelina. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 29 August 2015.
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