Island Thrush

Island Thrush Turdus poliocephalus niveiceps occurs exclusively on Taiwan and may merit classification as a species. HABITAT & BEHAVIOR Rare resident from 1000-2500 m (3,280-8,200 ft.) in thick temperate and pine forests. Shy, especially in winter, but in breeding season sings from conspicuous perches. Highly omnivorous, often forages on ground, taking a wide range of invertebrates, seeds and fruit, and even small reptiles. ID Male niveiceps has diagnostic white hood and is black from mantle to tail, including wings; underparts black on breast below white hood, rufous below, vent white with black markings. Female has dark crown, white supercilium and throat, pale face, and chin mottled or streaked greyish-black, rufous-brown underparts, and olive-brown upperparts. First-year male duller, browner than adult male. VOICE Chattering, rattling calls, similar to Common Blackbird T. merula; song rich and melodious, gradually increasing in speed. — Craig Brelsford

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

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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