Washington, DC Bird

Wood Thrush

State Symbol: Washington, DC Bird: Wood Thrush

Adopted in 1938

(Hylocichla mustelina)

The Wood Thrush, (Hylocichla mustelina,) was adopted as the official Washington, DC bird in 1938.

The District's bird is the Wood Thrush. This songbird is found throughout the eastern United States, though its steady decline in population is causing concern among environmentalists.

Washington, DC Bird: Wood Thrush

State Symbol: Washington, DC Bird: Wood Thrush

The Wood Thrush is a medium-sized thrush with the posture of an American Robin but a slightly smaller body. Sexes are alike, and adults are a cinnamon-brown color on their crown and nape that fades to olive-brown on the back, wings and tail. The under-parts are white with large dark spots on the breast, sides and flanks. Overall, the head appears a much richer color than the rest of the top of the body, with the tail being the dullest in color. They have a dull white eye-ring and pinkish legs. Juveniles are similar to adults but with tawny streaks and spots on their back, neck and wing coverts.

The Wood Thrush resides in forests in the eastern United States where it is more often heard than seen.

Identification of the Wood Thrush

  • Length: 7 inches
  • Rusty crown, nape and upper back
  • White eye ring and streaked cheeks
  • White underparts with black spots throughout
  • Brown upperparts
  • Pink legs
  • Sexes similar
  • Juvenile has pale spots on upperparts
  • Often forages on forest floor
  • Distinctive beautiful song

Taxonomic Hierarchy: Wood Thrush

Kingdom: Animalia - animals
Phylum: Chordata - chordates
    Subphylum: Vertebrata - vertebrates
Class: Aves - Birds
Order: Passeriformes - perching Birds
Family: Muscicapidae - old world flycatchers
Genus: Hylocichla Baird, 1864 - wood thrushes
Species: Hylocichla mustelina (J. F. Gmelin, 1789) - wood thrush, Zorzal maculado

Official State Birds
US map : Birds & Flowers
State Bird:Bird selected (by the legislature) as an emblem of a State.