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  • Writer's pictureWildlife Friendly Otley


Usually a star of the RSPB's #dawnchorusday, this bird can often be heard at Gallows Hill. Its beautiful song consists of repeated phrases, interspersed with grating sounds and mimicry. One bird can have a repertoire of as many as 100 phrases, many copied from its parents and neighbouring birds, and the mimicry may include man-made objects like phones. Their melodious voices led to them being kept as pets until at least the nineteenth century, and people still eat them in Spain. More positively, they have inspired poets such as Wordsworth, Browning and Hughes. One colloquial name is a Mavis, another a Throstle, and I am told Song Thrushes can still be seen and heard around Otley's Throstle Nest Close.

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