Long-tailed Thrush

Long-tailed Thrush
Long-tailed Thrush Zoothera dixoni, Gaoligong Mountains, Yunnan, China, February. (Craig Brelsford)
Long-tailed Thrush
Long-tailed Thrush, Baihualing (25.301580, 98.793680), Gaoligong Mountains, Yunnan, elev. 1980 m (6,510 ft.), February. (Craig Brelsford)
Long-tailed Thrush
Gaoligong Mountains, Yunnan, elev. 1710 m (5,620 ft.), February. (Craig Brelsford)

The summer range of Long-tailed Thrush Zoothera dixoni extends into Yunnan, Tibet, and Sichuan, with records also from Qinghai. HABITAT & BEHAVIOR Spends much time on floor of thick evergreen forests, to 4000 m (13,120 ft.), descending in winter to 1000 m (3,280 ft.). In winter in more open country. Sometimes with other thrushes. ID & COMPARISON Olive-brown above, whitish below, with black scales. Black ear-patch and malar stripe. In flight, creamy wing patch easily discernible. Unlike larger Scaly Thrush Z. dauma, has no scaling on upperparts. Unlike smaller Chinese Thrush Turdus mupinensis, markings more resemble scales than spots. The bold wing bars are more prominent than Himalayan Thrush Zoothera salimalii and Sichuan Thrush Z. griseiceps; tail also longer, olive coloring above more pronounced, and wing patch more cream-colored. Juvenile has streaks and bars on upperparts. BARE PARTS Bill mostly dark with yellow base; feet yellowish. VOICE Song a stream of fluty sounds and football whistles. — Craig Brelsford


shanghaibirding.com has research on all 10 species in the genera Geokichla and Zoothera in China. Click any link below:

Orange-headed Thrush Geokichla citrina
Siberian Thrush G. sibirica
Alpine Thrush Zoothera mollissima
Sichuan Thrush Z. griseiceps
Himalayan Thrush Z. salimalii
Long-tailed Thrush Z. dixoni
White’s Thrush Z. aurea
Scaly Thrush Z. dauma
Long-billed Thrush Z. monticola
Dark-sided Thrush Z. marginata


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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