The wood thrush is a medium-sized thrush, with brown upper parts with mottled brown and white underparts. The male and female are similar in appearance. The song of the male is often cited as being the most beautiful in North America.
The wood thrush is an omnivore, and feeds preferentially on soil invertebrates and larvae, but will also eat fruits. In the summer, it feeds on insects continuously in order to meet daily metabolic needs. It is solitary, but sometimes forms mixed-species flocks. The wood thrush defends a territory that ranges in size from 800 to 28,000 m2 (960 to 33,490 sq yd). The wood thrush is monogamous, and its breeding season begins in the spring; about 50% of all mated pairs are able to raise two broods, ranging in size from two to four chicks.