True thrush

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True thrushes
Chiornyi drozd (Turdus merula, per aspera), Bittsevskii les.jpg
Male common blackbird (T. merula)
Scientific classification OOjs UI icon edit-ltr.svg
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Turdidae
Genus: Turdus
Linnaeus, 1758
Type species
Turdus viscivorus

See text

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". [1] 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.


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 systematics

The genus Turdus was introduced by the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus in 1758 in the tenth edition of his Systema Naturae . [2] The type species was subsequently designated as the mistle thrush. [3] The name Turdus is the Latin word for a "thrush". [4]

Current species

The genus contains 87 extant species and one recently extinct: [5]

ImageCommon NameScientific nameDistribution
Groundscraper Thrush SMTC2.jpg Groundscraper thrush Turdus litsitsirupaAngola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eswatini, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe
Ethiopian thrush.jpg Ethiopian thrush Turdus simensisEthiopia, Eritrea
Turdus mupinensis.jpg Chinese thrush Turdus mupinensisChina and far northern Vietnam
Song thrush.jpg Song thrush Turdus philomelosEurope, North Africa and the Middle East
Turdus viscivorus in Baikonur-town 001.jpg Mistle thrush Turdus viscivorusEurope and temperate Asia
Africanthrush.jpg African thrush Turdus peliosfrom Senegal and Gambia in the west to South Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea south to northwestern Zambia and western Angola
Príncipe thrush Turdus xanthorhynchusPríncipe
Turdus olivaceofuscus.jpg São Tomé thrush Turdus olivaceofuscusSão Tomé
Mountain thrush.jpg Abyssinian thrush Turdus abyssinicusAfrica from South Sudan south to northern Mozambique
Taita thrush Turdus helleriTaita Hills in Kenya
Turdus roehli.jpg Usambara thrush Turdus roehliTanzania
Olive Thrush RWD.jpg Olive thrush Turdus olivaceusTanzania and Zimbabwe in the north to the Cape of Good Hope
Kurrichane Thrush, Sakania, DRC (7001803096).jpg Kurrichane thrush Turdus libonyanaAngola, Botswana, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe
TurdusBewsheriKeulemans.jpg Comoro thrush Turdus bewsheriComoros Islands
Thrush, African Bare-eyed.jpg Bare-eyed thrush Turdus tephronotusEthiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and Tanzania
Turdus smithi (Karoo Thrush) on lawn (crop).jpg Karoo thrush Turdus smithiSouth 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
MerulaLudoviciaeKeulemans.jpg Somali thrush or Somali blackbirdTurdus ludoviciaeSomalia
Turdus merula mandarinus Hong Kong 6.jpg Chinese blackbird Turdus mandarinussouth, central and east China
Redwing Turdus iliacus.jpg Redwing Turdus iliacusEurope 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
Common Blackbird.jpg Common blackbird Turdus merulatemperate Eurasia, North Africa, the Canary Islands, and South Asia
Yemen thrush Turdus menachensisMiddle East
Taiwan Island Thrush - Taiwan S4E8123 (16614712683).jpg Taiwan thrush [6] Turdus niveicepsTaiwan
Grey-winged Blackbird - Bhutan S4E0223 (17234373941).jpg Grey-winged blackbird Turdus boulboulsouth-eastern Asia from the Himalayas to northern Vietnam
Turdus simillimus Coonoor 8.jpg Indian blackbird Turdus simillimusIndia and Sri Lanka
Tickell's Thrush male.jpg Tickell's thrush Turdus unicolorHimalayas, and peninsular India
Turdus dissimilis male - Ang Khang.jpg Black-breasted thrush Turdus dissimilissouthwestern China
Wiki-kurotsugumi-1.jpg Japanese thrush Turdus cardiscentral China and Japan and northern Laos and Vietnam
Grey-backed Thrush 0739.jpg Grey-backed thrush Turdus hortulorumnortheastern China and Russia Far East and winters in southern China and northern Vietnam
Eyebrowed Thrush.jpg Eyebrowed thrush Turdus obscurusSiberia south to China and Southeast Asia
Pale Thrush - Taiwan S4E8071 (17027483687).jpg Pale thrush Turdus pallidussouth-east Siberia, north-east China and Korea and may breed in Japan
SYT4752 Grey-sided thrush.jpg Grey-sided thrush Turdus feaenorth-east China and migrating to subtropical or tropical moist montane forest in India, and Indochina
Brown-headed Thrush 6016.jpg Brown-headed thrush Turdus chrysolausSakhalin, the Kuril Islands, Japan, Ryukyu Islands, Taiwan, Hainan and the northern Philippines
Akakokko-hachijojima-2018-5-7.jpg Izu thrush Turdus celaenopsIzu and Ryukyu Islands of Japan
Island Thrush 4352.jpg Island thrush Turdus poliocephalusTaiwan, through South East Asia and Melanesia, to Samoa
Tibetan Blackbird (Turdus maximus) 1 cropped.jpg Tibetan blackbird Turdus maximusHimalayas from northern Pakistan to southeastern Tibet
MerulaKessleri.jpg White-backed thrush Turdus kesslericentral China
Bjorktrast (Turdus pilaris)-6.jpg Fieldfare Turdus pilarisnorthern Norway, northern Sweden, Finland, Belgium, Eastern France, 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.
Drozd kolohrivy (Turdus torquatus) a (4834220566).jpg Ring ouzel Turdus torquatuswestern and central Europe and also in the Caucasus and in the Scandinavian mountains
A dark-throated Thrush female - Dhanachuli, Uttarakhand India.jpg Black-throated thrush Turdus atrogulariseast of Europe to Western Siberia and north-west Mongolia
Dark Throated Thrush in Temple of Heaven.JPG Red-throated thrush Turdus ruficollisAsia
Turdus naumanni eunomus s2.JPG Dusky thrush Turdus eunomussouth to southeast Asia, principally in China and neighbouring countries
Naumans Thrush 6805.jpg Naumann's thrush Turdus naumanniSouth Asia to Southeast Asia
Chestnut Thrush Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve West Sikkim India 21.02.2016.jpg Chestnut thrush Turdus rubrocanuswestern Himalayas and central/southwestern China; it winters in Eastern Himalaya and northern Southeast Asia
White-collared Blackbird Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve West Sikkim India 15.02.2016.jpg White-collared blackbird Turdus albocinctusBangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan
Sulawesi Thrush - Sulawesi MG 5140 (17234338791).jpg Sulawesi thrush Turdus turdoidesSulawesi Island in Indonesia
Turdus-migratorius-002.jpg American robin Turdus migratoriusNorth America, from Alaska and Canada southward to northern Florida and Mexico
Merle enfume.jpg Black thrush Turdus infuscatusEl Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico
RCRO.jpg Rufous-collared thrush Turdus rufitorquesMiddle America, south of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, occurring in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Chiapas state in Mexico
Sooty Robin JCB.jpg Sooty thrush Turdus nigrescensCosta Rica and western Panama
Red-legged Thrush (Turdus plumbeus) RWD.jpg Red-legged thrush Turdus plumbeusthe Bahamas, Cayman Brac, Cuba, Dominica, Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti), Puerto Rico
Grand Cayman thrush Turdus ravidusGrand Cayman (extinct since 1938)
White-chinned Thrush RWD2.jpg White-chinned thrush Turdus aurantiusJamaica
Turdus lherminieri of Guadeloupe.jpg Forest thrush Turdus lherminieriDominica, Guadeloupe, Montserrat, and Saint Lucia
Mountain Robin - Central Highlands - Costa Rica MG 6385 (26103585153).jpg Mountain thrush Turdus plebejussouthern Mexico to western Panama
Flickr - Rainbirder - African Thrush (Turdus pelios).jpg Pale-eyed thrush Turdus leucopsBolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, and Venezuela
White-eyed Thrush RWD.jpg White-eyed thrush Turdus jamaicensisJamaica
La Selle Thrush.jpg La Selle thrush Turdus swalesiHispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti)
Chestnut-bellied Thrush (5304204959).jpg Chestnut-bellied thrush Turdus fulviventriswestern Venezuela, western Colombia, Ecuador, northern Peru and northwestern Bolivia
Plumbeous-backedThrush.jpg Plumbeous-backed thrush Turdus reeveiEcuador and Peru
Chiguanco Thrush RWD5.jpg Chiguanco thrush Turdus chiguancoEcuador and the Altiplano
TurdusNigricepsSmit.jpg Andean slaty thrush Turdus nigricepsnorth-west Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru
Glossy-black Thrush RWD3.jpg Glossy-black thrush Turdus serranusnorthern Venezuela to northwestern Argentina
Black-hooded Thrush - Paraulata Cabecinegra (Turdus olivater olivater) Waraira Repano National Park.jpg Black-hooded thrush Turdus olivaterVenezuela and Colombia
GreatThrush.jpg Great thrush Turdus fuscaterAndes in western and northern Venezuela as far as Lara and Trujillo, the Andes of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and finally, northwest Bolivia
Turdus falcklandii.jpg Austral thrush Turdus falcklandiisouth Argentina and south and central Chile
TurdusLawrenciiKeulemans.jpg Lawrence's thrush Turdus lawrenciiBolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela
Pantepui thrush Turdus murinusfoothills of s Venezuela and Guyana
Turdus subalaris Eastern Slaty-Thrush; Santo Andre, Sao Paulo, Brazil.jpg Blacksmith thrush Turdus subalarisnorth-east Argentina, eastern Paraguay and southern Brazil
SABIA-POCA (Turdus amaurochalinus)2.jpg Creamy-bellied thrush Turdus amaurochalinuscentral and eastern South America
Nesocichla eremita -Inaccessible Island, cropped.jpg Tristan thrush Turdus eremitaBritish overseas territories of the isolated Tristan da Cunha archipelago
TurdusMaranonicusSmit.jpg Marañón thrush Turdus maranonicussouthern Ecuador and northern Peru
Black-billed Thrush - Manu NP 8730 (16612461424).jpg Black-billed thrush Turdus ignobiliswestern Amazonia and on the Guianan Shield, occurring in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, and Bolivia
Turdus arthuri - The birds of British Guiana 1921.jpg Campina thrush Turdus arthurilowlands of se Venezuela, Guyana and Suriname, e Colombia and wc Amazonian Brazil
Turdus flavipes -Parque Estadual da Serra da Cantareira, Sao Paulo, Brazil-8.jpg Yellow-legged thrush Turdus flavipesnorthern 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
Mirlo Garganta Blanca, White Throated Thrush, Turdus assimilis (13362733943).jpg White-throated thrush Turdus assimilisCentral America
Dagua thrush Turdus daguaePanama to north-western Ecuador
Turdus albicollis -Parque Estadual da Serra da Cantareira, Sao Paulo, Brasil-8.jpg White-necked thrush Turdus albicolliseastern Brazil, far northern Uruguay, eastern Paraguay and far north-eastern Argentina
Turdus rufopalliatus.jpg Rufous-backed robin Turdus rufopalliatussoutheastern Sonora to the southeastern corner of Oaxaca along the coast and in the Río Balsas drainage, with isolated populations in Mexico City and Oaxaca City
Turdus obsoletus.jpg Pale-vented thrush Turdus obsoletusColombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama, and Peru
Flickr - Dario Sanches - SABIA-BARRANCO Imaturo (Turdus leucomelas).jpg Pale-breasted thrush Turdus leucomelaseastern and northern South America
Turdus fumigatus 1.jpg Cocoa thrush Turdus fumigatusSouth America
Turdus hauxwelli.jpg Hauxwell's thrush Turdus hauxwelliBolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela
Flickr - Dario Sanches - SABIA-LARANJEIRA (Turdus rufiventris).jpg Rufous-bellied thrush Turdus rufiventrissoutheast Brazil from Maranhão south to Rio Grande do Sul states, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay and northern regions of Argentina
Costa Rica's National Bird (16506655516).jpg Clay-colored robin Turdus grayiSouth Texas (where it is rapidly expanding its range) to northern Colombia
Bare-eyed Thrush (5529613751).jpg Spectacled thrush Turdus nudigenisSouth America from Colombia and Venezuela south and east to northern Brazil, and in Trinidad and Tobago
Ecuadorian Thrush (Turdus maculirostris) (20081987352).jpg Ecuadorian thrush Turdus maculirostriswestern Ecuador and far northwestern Peru
Turdus sanchezorum.jpg Várzea thrush Turdus sanchezorumwestern Amazon
Unicolored thrush Turdus haplochrousBolivia

Former species

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

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Further reading