This section is from the book "The Balance Of Nature And Modern Conditions Of Cultivation", by George Abbey. Also available from Amazon: The Balance Of Nature And Modern Conditions Of Cultivation.
The Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris), included in the Turdidae or Thrushes, is a stout bird and rather elegant with its long tail and wings. Its length is between 10 and 11 inches and its weight about 4 oz. The upper parts of the body as far as the shoulders are ashen grey dotted with dark spots on the head, back and wings red-brown and tail blackish-brown, chin and throat amber with numerous black streaks, breast reddish-brown spotted with black, abdomen and under-parts white, spotted in the flanks with shades of brown. It arrives in this country in November or December, and is generally seen in large flocks. It departs about May or June, though occasionally some remain to build in the wilder parts of the British Islands. The nests are usually built in society after the manner of rooks, but in fir or pine trees. It lays several bluish-green eggs, spotted with brown. It feeds upon worms, larvae, insects, seeds and grain, also largely upon wild fruits, such as berries of hawthorn and holly, the latter being the measure of their depredations in gardens, and ornamental grounds, the hollies being soon divested of their berries by the fieldfares during severe weather.
The bird's shyness on arrival soon wears off, and from its excellence as an adjunct to the table is much sought after by some sportsmen.