Ring ouzel

Ring ouzel

The Ring ouzel is a member of the thrush family and is a rare migrant to Dartmoor

Where and when

They are mainly upland birds and the steep valleys and rocks of Dartmoor make it an ideal place for them to breed. The Ring ouzel visits from spring when breeding begins until mid summer, migrating to Morocco and Tunisia in the autumn.

Nesting is on or close to the ground, mainly in heather and the Ring ouzel can produce two broods a year. They feed on insects, berries and earthworms.

Unusually, this rare bird has been sighted north of Cadover Bridge in October and November this year - these are likely to be birds from Northern Europe continuing to migrate south.

If you're out for a walk, this is what to look out for ...


  • Size - slightly smaller and slimmer than a Blackbird.
  • Colour - the male is black with a white crescent under the neck like a bib and paler wings. The female is duller, with a speckled crescent.
  • Call - similar to a Blackbird, but a little harsher and louder 'chack'.