Ring Ouzel

Irish Name: Lon creige
Scientific name: Turdus torquatus
Bird Family: Thrushes
red
Conservation status

Status

Rare summer visitor from mid-March to September to uplands, mainly in Counties Donegal and Kerry. Scarce passage migrant in spring and amount to coastal headlands.

Identification

The same size as a Blackbird. Adult males have glossy black plumage similar to that of the adult male Blackbird. Main difference lies in the broad white crescent on the breast. The wings also tend to be a more silvery colour than would be found on a Blackbird. Adult female Ring Ouzels are a more browner black colour than the males. The crescent is not pure white, more a beige-brown. First-winter Ring Ouzels are similar to adult females, but the crescent is an almost invisible brown smudge. The throat is white with black streaking. Ring Ouzels in the Alps have extensive white arrow markings on the underparts and some Ring Ouzels may have hints of these markings. However, there are as yet no definite records of Alpine Ring Ouzels in Ireland.

Voice

A harsh "tuck, tuck", as well as a Fieldfare like "chack". The song is a slowly delivered series of notes repeated two or three times.

Diet

Insects, especially earthworms. Also berries and other fruit including apples.

Breeding

Breeds on scree slopes in mountainous terrain with limited vegetation. Now restricted to only a handful of sites in Ireland.

Wintering

Wintering areas are poorly known, thought to be southern Iberia and North Africa.

Monitored by

Countryside Bird Survey and BirdTrack.

Similar Species

Blackbird

Irish Name:
Lon dubh
Scientific name:
Turdus merula
Bird Family:
Thrushes

Dipper

Irish Name:
Gabha dubh
Scientific name:
Cinclus cinclus
Bird Family:
Dippers