A bluethroat is a member of the chat family and is classified as a Turdidae species by scientists, just like larger thrushes. The Turdidae family includes more than 300 different species of chats and thrushes, with the Latin word for thrush being turdus.
The bluethroat is a small and slender songbird with dark brown top parts and lighter greyish brown underparts during its breeding plumage. The male bluethroat has a deep blue patch on its throat divided by a rufous red crescent shape, and a narrow black and white band at the bottom of the blue patch. The wings are a simple mid-brown color, and the legs are long and slender with a dark brown to black coloration. The bill is black, and the eyes are a dark brown color. The female bluethroat mimics the male’s non-breeding hues with the addition of white cheeks, a pale neck, and a black breast band that is commonly speckled with blue. Juveniles have dark brown upperparts with streaks of buff to rufous patterns and pale grey underparts with rust red shading on the rump and tail base.
Have you ever wondered about the sound of a Bluethroat? This bird is known for its impressive ability to mimic other bird species and produces a unique, melodious song. The Bluethroat’s song is characterized by strong, beautiful notes that are often repeated and interspersed with short notes and extended trills. You may even hear it imitating other birds that are native to the area.
What does a Bluethroat eat? The Bluethroat feeds on small insects, spiders, caterpillars, and insect larvae while scavenging on the ground, often in cramped corners and amidst leaves. During the autumn season, it also feeds on seeds and berries, although this is not its primary source of sustenance.
The Bluethroat bird is a common breeding bird in the northern part of Europe and Asia, from Scandinavia to the Russian Far East and China. During winter, they move south to various regions including southern Europe, Africa, and South and East Asia. There are 12 subspecies of the Bluethroat, and the only significant variation among them is in the color of their throat, which can range from white dots to a completely blue throat. They are commonly found in moist forests, heaths, reedbeds and marshy areas. The male’s summer plumage is unique and similar in size, shape, and weight to that of the European Robin. The Bluethroat flies low and quickly across close spaces between cover patches.
Breeding season of these birds varies depending on the region, taking place between April and July. Females usually lay one clutch of five to seven eggs, which are pale green in color and speckled with brown. Incubation is done by the female alone for about thirteen days, after which the eggs hatch. Fledging generally occurs two weeks later. In some parts of Europe, they have two broods every year. Female birds construct deep and cup-shaped nests among tussock grass or moist scrubland.