Wood Thrushes [Hylocichla mustelina] are awesome woodland birds with perhaps the coolest song of any bird north of Mexico. But besides their flute-like voice, these spotted forest denizens have a few other neat factoids about them.
“[Wood Thrushes have] been observed ‘anting’. Anting occurs when a bird picks up a single ant or group of ants and rubs them on its feathers. The purpose of this behavior is not well understood. It is thought that birds may be able to acquire defensive secretions from the ants possibly used for some medicinal purpose. Also may be a supplement to the bird’s own preen oil. – Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s All About Birds.
Wood Thrushes are unfortunately a species that is in decline due to many forces including forest fragmentation which leads to higher Brown-headed Cowbird parasitization and also from acid rain. The loss of these beautiful songsters would be catastrophic on many levels.