Song Thrush

Song Thrush Turdus philomelos nataliae breeds northwest Xinjiang. HABITAT & BEHAVIOR Feeds on ground in open areas with trees nearby, as well as in forests. Crushes snails against rocks. Less shy than other thrushes. ID & COMPARISON Medium-sized, slender thrush with fine voice. Upperparts plain brown. Arrowhead spotting on off-white underparts reminiscent of Mistle Thrush T. viscivorus, but spots on that species are rounder. Underwing buff-yellow, in contrast to reddish underwing of Chinese Thrush T. mupinensis and Redwing T. iliacus. Lacks black crescent on ear coverts of Chinese Thrush. BARE PARTS Bill brown, paler below; feet pinkish-brown. VOICE Song powerful and sustained, seemingly improvised, a mix of fluted notes and rolling trills, with phrases often repeated. Alarm call a series of scolding chatters. — 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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