I think of them as little cultivators. Flocks of them arrive in winter (about a month ago now.) They spread out over the yard and garden, and, by doing some kind of jump-kick, scratch up the soil looking for food. My guess is that their food is animal rather than vegetable, since they are similar to robins. In fact, sometimes robins can be found among them.
Varied thrush is a good name for this bird because coloring varies quite a bit. Some are missing the wing bars, or have small eye stripes. Some photos show them more yellow than orange. Ours are always orange. They're a bit smaller than robins.
This winter was predicted to be long and cold. We did have some cold spells, and a stormy blast of snow, but the thrushes tell me that winter is on its way out and will not be a long one.