From the team at BBC Wildlife Magazine

Do birds other than song thrushes break snail shells on stones?

Ornithologist Mike Toms explains the song thrushes unique feeding behaviour.

Published: January 10, 2018 at 12:30 pm
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Though all of our breeding thrushes have been recorded feeding on snails, it is only the song thrush that is proficient in opening larger shells by smashing them against stones or other hard objects.

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The other thrushes tend to feed on smaller snails, which are easily broken open with the bill. Blackbirds have been seen to copy the anvil technique on rare occasions, though far less effectively, and may also rob song thrushes of their hard won prey.

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Snails are of seasonal importance for thrushes, taken when favoured foods are less abundant, and feature most commonly during dry summer weather or late winter.

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