Song Thrush Bird

How to Attract Thrushes to your Garden? (Expert Tips!)

The thrush is a small passerine songbird. They are known for their musical, melodic songs and ability to mimic other birds’ calls. There are 9 types of thrushes that are found in North America. Thrushes are wonderful bird guests and great wildlife hosts, attracting many kinds of birds and other animals.

Thrush Species

  • Hermit Thrush
  • Swainson’s Thrush
  • Bicknell’s Thrush
  • Wood Thrush
  • Gray-cheeked Thrush
  • Varied Thrush
  • Aztec Thrush
  • Red-legged Thrush
  • Song Thrush


This bird species is found in a variety of habitats including gardens, grasslands, deciduous forests, and wooded areas. Some bird species have been introduced into North America, while others have adapted to a variety of habitats.

Image by TheOtherKev from Pixabay

How to Attract Thrushes to your Garden

Foods that Attract 

Thrushes are ground foragers. They like feeding on a wide variety of insects, plants, fruits and berries tend to be their favorites. If you have a good variety of garden plants and berries to offer, this may be the perfect way to attract thrushes to your yard.

Get a Bird Feeder

The first thing you can do is to set up a bird feeder near your yard. One of the reasons thrushes are a good choice of bird feeder visitor is that they are not aggressive. One of their favorite foods is sunflower seeds, you can put some out on a platform or tray feeder.

One of the best feeders to entice them into your garden is the Squirrel Buster suet feeder. I find that peanut butter suet cakes work best, because they love the taste. You can find both these products on Amazon.

Set up a Birdbath

Some people prefer to set up a birdbath, which gives them a place to drink and bathe as well. A birdbath is especially great for attracting them to your yard because they love water.

I would recommend purchasing a quality one, like this one from Best Choice Birdbath because the birds go crazy over it. This product is available on Amazon.

Get a Birdhouse

One of the easiest ways to attract them, is by setting up a birdhouse (nesting box) in areas where they often congregate. Birds love to be nestled in soft, cozy places, and a birdhouse gives them that opportunity.

They are always drawn to birdhouses, because they offer some shelter from the rain or cold winds, some places to call their own, and most importantly a place where they feel safe and secure.

You will find that they come back year after year to enjoy the birdhouse. The best birdhouses for thrush are made from cedar. One particular model I have had good success with is the Nature’s Way Birdhouse.

Attracting them with Plants

  • Gray Dogwood
  • Flowering Dogwood
  • Silky Dogwood
  • Elderberry
  • Sumac
  • Winterberry
  • Gooseberry
  • Currants
  • Raspberry
  • Cranberry
  • Nannyberry

Extra Tips

  • Offer different types of seeds: sunflower, safflower, millet and corn.
  • Plant shrubs in a row that will provide shelter from predators
  • Cut up apples or pears into bite-sized pieces and place them at the base of a tree. Fruit is a favorite food of thrushes, and they are likely to stop by your yard for an easy meal.
  • Maintain good sanitation of the feeders and birdbaths. Remove the droppings daily and wipe down the bird feeders often to eliminate any droppings left over from the previous day.
  • Enticing these birds to your yard can take time so it is best to be patient. They are quite capable of moving quite quickly and that means that you may not see them immediately. 
  • If you want to get them to stay, you are going to have to offer them a place that they are going to feel safe. This can often mean providing them with some kind of cover like a nesting box, or even a tree nearby.
  • Don’t use pesticides or herbicides around your yard; this will kill insects they feed on.

Frequently Asked Questions

What month do thrushes lay eggs?

The time of year when these animals start to reproduce depends on the location. For example, in colder climates, such as Canada and Russia, they will not start laying eggs until late winter or early spring. Whereas in warmer regions such as Florida and Costa Rica, it’s thought they may begin laying eggs during December or January.

Do thrushes eat bread?

The answer is yes, but in a limited capacity. Thrushes do consume some types of food that can be found near humans, such as insects and worms. They also will feed on anything they find while foraging such as bread crumbs, seeds, berries and other fruits.

Do thrushes pair for life?

Many people believe that thrushes mate for life and will never find another partner if their mate dies. However, it turns out that these birds do not actually mate for life and instead choose new mates every year. 

Do thrushes eat mealworms?

The answer to these questions is yes, thrushes do in fact eat meal worms. They are omnivores, which means they will feed on both plant and animal matter as well as any other items such as worms or fruit that may be available.

Which thrush is the biggest?

Mistle thrushes are the largest of all thrush species. They measure about 11″ inches in length and they live in Europe and Asia.