Found throughout the Pacific Northwest, the Varied Thrush (Passeriformes: Turdidae: Ixoreus naevius) is a relatively common inhabitant of dense, wet forest understories. These birds live year-round in western Washington and Oregon. In the summer many migrate as far north as Alaska to breed, and in the winter some migrate as far south as Mexico in search of food.
During warmer months these thrushes forage in leaf litter for insects and other arthropods to eat. As prey items become more scare in winter, they feed more upon fruits and seeds. They are often aggressive toward each other and other bird species, especially at feeding sites.
Over the last few decades these birds have experienced a marked population decline. Since they rely upon expansive and mature old-growth forests for habitat, it’s thought that logging and deforestation play a significant role in their weakening numbers. In more populated areas they’re also susceptible to collisions with cars and windows, as well as predation by cats. They’re one of innumerable species that stand to benefit from conservation efforts to protect habitat for the endangered Northern Spotted Owl.