This stocky, loud thrush exemplifies the complex inter-connectedness of nature with several mutually-beneficial relationships. So for example the bird’s great appetite for mistletoe berries (the origins of its name), benefits the plant through the excretion of its seeds on to branches where they can germinate. Also, Chaffinches and Mistle Thrushes often nest close to each other, with the combination of the former’s vigilance and the latter’s bold aggression benefiting the chances of the offspring of both. Mistle Thrushes are known to confront formidable foes – even cats and humans – in defence of their nests or a particularly good food source, which round Otley might well be a holly tree. Like Song Thrushes, they may use a particular stone as an “anvil” on which to smash the shells of snails. They are also known as Stormcocks, due to their habit of singing during wind and rain, and in normal conditions their voices can be heard up to two kilometres away. Their alarm call sounds a bit like an old football rattle.
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