True thrush

True thrushes are medium-sized mostly insectivorous or omnivorous birds in the genus Turdus of the wider thrush family, Turdidae. The genus name Turdus is Latin for "thrush". The term "thrush" is used for many other birds of the family Turdidae as well as for a number of species belonging to several other families.

True thrushes
Kos Turdus merulaRB.jpg
Male common blackbird (T. merula)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Turdidae
Genus: Turdus
Linnaeus, 1758

See text

The genus has a cosmopolitan distribution, with species in the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. Several species have also colonised some oceanic islands, and two species have been introduced to New Zealand. Some New World species are called robins, the most well known of which is the American robin. Several species are migratory.

While some species are often split out of Turdus, the two small thrushes formerly separated in Platycichla by many authors have been restored to the present genus in recent years.

Taxonomy and systematicsEdit

The genus Turdus was introduced by the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus in 1758 in the tenth edition of his Systema Naturae.[1] The type species was subsequently designated as the mistle thrush.[2] The name Turdus is Latin word for a "thrush".[3]

Extant speciesEdit

Eighty-four extant species are recognized:[4]

Image Common Name Scientific name Distribution
  Yellow-legged thrush Turdus flavipes northern Colombia, Venezuela, far northern Brazil, Trinidad, and Tobago, as well as parts of the Pakaraima Mountains in western Guyana, eastern Brazil, eastern Paraguay, and far northeastern Argentina
  Pale-eyed thrush Turdus leucops Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, and Venezuela
  African thrush Turdus pelios from Senegal and Gambia in the west to South Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea south to northwestern Zambia and western Angola
  Bare-eyed thrush Turdus tephronotus Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and Tanzania
  Kurrichane thrush Turdus libonyana Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe
São Tomé thrush Turdus olivaceofuscus São Tomé
Príncipe thrush Turdus xanthorhynchus Príncipe
  Olive thrush Turdus olivaceus Tanzania and Zimbabwe in the north to the Cape of Good Hope
Usambara thrush Turdus roehli Tanzania
  Abyssinian thrush Turdus abyssinicus Africa from South Sudan south to northern Mozambique.
  Karoo thrush Turdus smithi South Africa, where it is present in Little Namaqualand, the Karoo and Northern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and parts of the North West Province.
  Somali thrush or Somali blackbird Turdus ludoviciae Somalia.
Taita thrush Turdus helleri Taita Hills in Kenya
Yemen thrush Turdus menachensis Middle East
  Comoro thrush Turdus bewsheri Comoros Islands
  Grey-backed thrush Turdus hortulorum northeastern China and Russia Far East and winters in southern China and northern Vietnam
  Tickell's thrush Turdus unicolor Himalayas, and peninsular India
  Black-breasted thrush Turdus dissimilis southwestern China
  Japanese thrush Turdus cardis central China and Japan and northern Laos and Vietnam
  White-collared blackbird Turdus albocinctus Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan
  Ring ouzel Turdus torquatus western and central Europe and also in the Caucasus and in the Scandinavian mountains
  Grey-winged blackbird Turdus boulboul south-eastern Asia from the Himalayas to northern Vietnam
  Common blackbird Turdus merula temperate Eurasia, North Africa, the Canary Islands, and South Asia
  Chinese blackbird Turdus mandarinus south, central and east China
  Tibetan blackbird Turdus maximus Himalayas from northern Pakistan to southeastern Tibet
  Indian blackbird Turdus simillimus India and Sri Lanka
  Island thrush Turdus poliocephalus Taiwan, through South East Asia and Melanesia, to Samoa
  Chestnut thrush Turdus rubrocanus western Himalayas and central/southwestern China; it winters in Eastern Himalaya and northern Southeast Asia
  Kessler's thrush Turdus kessleri central China
  Grey-sided thrush Turdus feae north-east China and migrating to subtropical or tropical moist montane forest in India, and Indochina
  Eyebrowed thrush Turdus obscurus Siberia south to China and Southeast Asia.
  Pale thrush Turdus pallidus south-east Siberia, north-east China and Korea and may breed in Japan
  Brown-headed thrush Turdus chrysolaus Sakhalin, the Kuril Islands, Japan, Ryukyu Islands, Taiwan, Hainan and the northern Philippines
  Izu thrush Turdus celaenops Izu and Ryukyu Islands of Japan
  Black-throated thrush Turdus atrogularis east of Europe to Western Siberia and north-west Mongolia.
  Red-throated thrush Turdus ruficollis Asia
  Naumann's thrush Turdus naumanni South Asia to Southeast Asia
  Dusky thrush Turdus eunomus south to southeast Asia, principally in China and neighbouring countries
  Fieldfare Turdus pilaris northern Norway, northern Sweden, Finland, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland and Siberia as far east as Transbaikal, the Aldan River, the Tian Shan Mountains in North West China, Anatolia, Israel, Iran and Northwest India, and occasionally Northeast India. It is a vagrant to Iceland, Greenland, Spitsbergen, the Canary Islands, the Balearic Islands, Madeira, Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, Malta and Cyprus. It is a very rare breeder in the British Isles, but winters in large numbers in the United Kingdom, Southern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
  Redwing Turdus iliacus Europe and Asia, from Iceland south to northernmost Scotland, and east through Scandinavia, the Baltic States, northern Poland and Belarus, and through most of Russia to about 165°E in Chukotka Autonomous Okrug
  Song thrush Turdus philomelos southern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East
  Chinese thrush Turdus mupinensis China and far northern Vietnam
  Mistle thrush Turdus viscivorus Europe and temperate Asia
  Great thrush Turdus fuscater Andes in western and northern Venezuela as far as Lara and Trujillo, the Andes of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and finally, northwest Bolivia
  Chiguanco thrush Turdus chiguanco Ecuador and the Altiplano
  Sooty thrush Turdus nigrescens Costa Rica and western Panama
  Black thrush Turdus infuscatus El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico
  Glossy-black thrush Turdus serranus northern Venezuela to northwestern Argentina.
  Andean slaty thrush Turdus nigriceps north-west Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru
  Blacksmith thrush Turdus subalaris north-east Argentina, eastern Paraguay and southern Brazil
  Plumbeous-backed thrush Turdus reevei Ecuador and Peru
  Black-hooded thrush Turdus olivater Venezuela and Colombia
  Marañón thrush Turdus maranonicus southern Ecuador and northern Peru
  Chestnut-bellied thrush Turdus fulviventris western Venezuela, western Colombia, Ecuador, northern Peru and northwestern Bolivia.
  Rufous-bellied thrush Turdus rufiventris southeast Brazil from Maranhão south to Rio Grande do Sul states, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay and northern regions of Argentina
  Austral thrush Turdus falcklandii south Argentina and south and central Chile
  Pale-breasted thrush Turdus leucomelas eastern and northern South America
  Creamy-bellied thrush Turdus amaurochalinus central and eastern South America
  Mountain thrush Turdus plebejus southern Mexico to western Panama.
  Black-billed thrush Turdus ignobilis western Amazonia and on the Guianan Shield, occurring in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, and Bolivia
  Campina thrush Turdus arthuri lowlands of se Venezuela, Guyana and Suriname, e Colombia and wc Amazonian Brazil
Pantepui thrush Turdus murinus foothills of s Venezuela and Guyana
  Lawrence's thrush Turdus lawrencii Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela
  Cocoa thrush Turdus fumigatus South America
Pale-vented thrush Turdus obsoletus Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama, and Peru.
  Hauxwell's thrush Turdus hauxwelli Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela.
Unicolored thrush Turdus haplochrous Bolivia.
  Clay-colored thrush Turdus grayi South Texas (where it is rapidly expanding its range) to northern Colombia; west and north of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec
  Spectacled thrush Turdus nudigenis South America from Colombia and Venezuela south and east to northern Brazil. In Trinidad and Tobago
Várzea thrush Turdus sanchezorum western Amazon
  Ecuadorian thrush Turdus maculirostris western Ecuador and far northwestern Peru
  White-eyed thrush Turdus jamaicensis Jamaica
  White-throated thrush Turdus assimilis Central America
  Dagua thrush Turdus daguae Panama to north-western Ecuador
  White-necked thrush Turdus albicollis eastern Brazil, far northern Uruguay, eastern Paraguay and far north-eastern Argentina
  Rufous-backed thrush Turdus rufopalliatus southeastern Sonora to the southeastern corner of Oaxaca along the coast and in the Río Balsas drainage. The isolated populations in Mexico City and Oaxaca City
  Rufous-collared thrush Turdus rufitorques Middle America, south of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, occurring in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Chiapas state in Mexico.
  American robin Turdus migratorius North America, from Alaska and Canada southward to northern Florida and Mexico
  La Selle thrush Turdus swalesi Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti)
  White-chinned thrush Turdus aurantius Jamaica
  Red-legged thrush Turdus plumbeus the Bahamas, Cayman Brac, Cuba, Dominica, Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti), Puerto Rico
Forest thrush Turdus lherminieri Dominica, Guadeloupe, Montserrat, and Saint Lucia.
  Tristan thrush Turdus eremita British overseas territories of the isolated Tristan da Cunha archipelago

Extinct speciesEdit

Former speciesEdit

Formerly, some authorities also considered the following species (or subspecies) as species within the genus Turdus:


  1. ^ Linnaeus, Carl (1758). Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis (in Latin). Volume 1 (10th ed.). Holmiae:Laurentii Salvii. p. 168.
  2. ^ Mayr, Ernst; Paynter, Raymond A. Jr, eds. (1964). Check-list of Birds of the World. Volume 10. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Museum of Comparative Zoology. p. 177.
  3. ^ Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 293. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  4. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2018). "Thrushes". World Bird List Version 8.1. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  5. ^ Australia, Atlas of Living. "Pachycephala (Alisterornis) rufiventris rufiventris | Atlas of Living Australia". Retrieved 2017-02-06.
  6. ^ "Colluricincla harmonica - Avibase". Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  7. ^ The Ibis. British Ornithologists' Union. 1873-01-01.
  8. ^ "Oriolus monacha - Avibase". Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  9. ^ "Myiagra inquieta - Avibase". Retrieved 2017-01-26.
  10. ^ "Brachypodius atriceps - Avibase". Retrieved 2017-03-10.
  11. ^ "Pycnonotus dispar - Avibase". Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  12. ^ "Pycnonotus cafer - Avibase". Retrieved 2017-03-25.
  13. ^ "Pycnonotus aurigaster - Avibase". Retrieved 2017-03-25.
  14. ^ "Pycnonotus nigricans - Avibase". Retrieved 2017-03-26.
  15. ^ "Pycnonotus capensis - Avibase". Retrieved 2017-03-27.
  16. ^ "Pycnonotus barbatus barbatus - Avibase". Retrieved 2017-03-27.
  17. ^ "Pycnonotus barbatus arsinoe - Avibase". Retrieved 2017-03-27.
  18. ^ "Pycnonotus bimaculatus - Avibase". Retrieved 2017-03-29.
  19. ^ "Pycnonotus goiavier analis - Avibase". Retrieved 2017-03-30.
  20. ^ "Andropadus importunus - Avibase". Retrieved 2017-04-10.
  21. ^ "Hypsipetes borbonicus (Reunion Bulbul) - Avibase". Retrieved 2017-10-25.
  22. ^ Newton, Alfred (1870). Extracts from the Record of Zoological Literature, Vols. I-VI: Containing the Portions Relating to Aves, from 1864 to 1869. Taylor & Francis.
  23. ^ "Hypsipetes madagascariensis (Madagascar Bulbul) - Avibase". Retrieved 2017-10-29.
  24. ^ "Hypsipetes leucocephalus (Himalayan Black Bulbul) - Avibase". Retrieved 2017-11-01.
  25. ^ "Hypsipetes philippinus (Philippine Bulbul) - Avibase". Retrieved 2017-11-03.
  26. ^ "Hypsipetes amaurotis (Brown-eared Bulbul) - Avibase". Retrieved 2017-11-06.

Further readingEdit

  • Voelker, G.; Rohwer, S.; Bowie, R.C.K.; Outlaw, D.C. (2007). "Molecular systematics of a speciose, cosmopolitan songbird genus: defining the limits of, and relationships among, the Turdus thrushes". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 42 (2): 422–434. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2006.07.016. PMID 16971142.

External linksEdit