Chestnut Thrush

Chestnut Thrush, Laifengshan, Tengchong.
Chestnut Thrush Turdus rubrocanus, Yunnan, China, February. (Craig Brelsford)
Chestnut Thrush
Chestnut Thrush, Sichuan, China, elev. 2990 m (9,810 ft.), July. (Craig Brelsford)

Chestnut Thrush Turdus rubrocanus gouldi is common resident of Tibetan Plateau, with range extending into central China and northern and western Yunnan. HABITAT & BEHAVIOR In summer in subalpine forests, to 3700 m (12,140 ft.). Shy, often solitary; may form flocks in winter. ID & COMPARISON Male has greyish head and neck and black wings and tail; whitish vent heavily marked with black arrowheads; rest of plumage chestnut. Female and winter male sometimes show pale collar. Females patterned similarly to male, but duller. Juveniles show white on throat and are spotted blackish on malar, breast, and belly. White-backed Thrush T. kessleri is larger, is usually at higher elevations, and has black head, pale buff breast band and back, and brownish feet. BARE PARTS Bill, eye-ring, and feet yellow. VOICE Beautiful song of short phrases, given from top of tree. Chuckles in alarm. — Craig Brelsford

THE TRUE THRUSHES OF CHINA has research on all 24 species in the genus Turdus in China. Click any link:

Grey-backed Thrush Turdus hortulorum
Tickell’s Thrush T. unicolor
Black-breasted Thrush T. dissimilis
Japanese Thrush T. cardis
White-collared Blackbird T. albocinctus
Grey-winged Blackbird T. boulboul
Common Blackbird T. merula
Chinese Blackbird T. mandarinus
Tibetan Blackbird T. maximus
Chestnut Thrush T. rubrocanus
White-backed Thrush T. kessleri
Grey-sided Thrush T. feae
Eyebrowed Thrush T. obscurus
Pale Thrush T. pallidus
Brown-headed Thrush T. chrysolaus
Black-throated Thrush T. atrogularis
Red-throated Thrush T. ruficollis
Naumann’s Thrush T. naumanni
Dusky Thrush T. eunomus
Fieldfare T. pilaris
Redwing T. iliacus
Song Thrush T. philomelos
Chinese Thrush T. mupinensis
Mistle Thrush T. viscivorus

See also:

Taiwan Thrush Turdus niveiceps


Daniel Bengtsson served as chief ornithological consultant for Craig Brelsford’s Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of China, from which this species description is drawn.

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