Swainson's Thrush
(Catharus ustulatus)

Summary

Picture of bird
© John Reaume
For additional photos and vocalizations, visit Dendroica. (Link opens in a new window.)

The Swainson's Thrush is an abundant inhabitant of Canada's coniferous and deciduous forests. The Breeding Bird Survey suggests little change in the national population relative to the early 1970s, though declines are evident in eastern Canada. Habitat loss and degradation, as well as collisions with towers and buildings, may negatively impact this species and are causes for concern (Mack and Yong 2000). This species has been identified as a priority for conservation and/or stewardship in one or more Bird Conservation Region Strategies in Canada.

Designations

Main designations for the species
DesignationStatusDateSubspecies, population
IUCN (Global)Least concern2018 
Wild Species (Canada)Secure2015 
Bird Conservation Region StrategyPriority Species2013 

Population status

Geographic area or populationPopulation change relative to ~1970ReliabilityStatus in relation to goal
CanadaLittle ChangeMediumAt an Acceptable Level
 

Population estimate

Geographic area or populationPopulation estimate
Canada> 50,000,000 adults
 

Distribution maps

 

Migration strategy, occurrence

Long-distance migrant

Responsibility for conservation

Geographic areaResponsibility based on % of global population
CanadaHigh

General nesting period in Canada

Nesting period starts between late May and mid-June and ends between late July and early August, depending on the region. Before or after this period, the probability of an active nest is lower.
 

Conservation and management

Though populations appear stable, the Swainson's Thrush, like many species, is thought to be negatively affected by habitat loss and degradation through logging and fire (Van Wilgenburg 2018), clearing for agriculture, and urbanization (Mack and Yong 2000). It also appears to be one of the species more susceptible to collisions with windows, buildings (Bracey et al. 2016), and towers during migration (Mack and Yong 2000).

 

Bird conservation region strategies

Environment and Climate Change Canada and partners have developed Bird Conservation Region Strategies in each of Canada’s Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs). In these strategies, selected species are identified as priorities for one or more of the following reasons:

  • conservation concerns (i.e., species vulnerable due to population size, distribution, population trend, abundance, or threats)
  • stewardship responsibilities (i.e., species that typify the regional avifauna or have a large proportion of their range or population in the sub-region)
  • management concerns (i.e., species that require ongoing management because of their socio-economic importance as game species, or because of their impacts on other species or habitats)
  • other concerns (i.e., species deemed a priority by regional experts for other reasons than those listed above or because they are listed as species at risk or concern at the provincial level)

Select any of the sub-regions below to view the BCR strategy for additional details.

BCRs, marine biogeographic units, and sub-regions in which the species is listed as a priority
RegionSub-region and priority type
Northern RockiesNorthern Rockies, sub-region and priority type: Pacific and Yukon -- Conservation & Stewardship
 

References