Blue whistling-thrush

Blue whistling-thrush
Myophonus caeruleus
Photo by J.J. Harrison (Wikipedia)

Common name:
blue whistling-thrush (en); tordo-assobiador-azul (pt); arrenga siffleur (fr); arrenga común (es); purpurpfeifdrossel (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Turdidae

This species is patchily distributed in central and south-eastern Asia, being found from India to central and eastern China and south to Indonesia.

These birds are 29-35 cm long and weigh 135-230 g.

The blue whistling-thrush breeds in both temperate deciduous forests and in tropical and sub-tropical moist forests, and sometime also in open scrublands with a scattered large trees, at altitudes of 1.000-4.000 m. Outside the breeding season they move to lower altitudes and can be found in other habitats including mangroves, open rocky grounds, agricultural areas and even parks and gardens.

They eat various invertebrates including water beetles, ants, grasshoppers, slugs, snails, earthworms and small crustaceans.

Blue whistling-thrushes build a bulky cup-nest using moss and muddy rootlets woven with fine grass, leaf stems and tendrils, and lined with mud and horsehair. The nest is usually placed on a cliff ledge, in an overhanging bank, or even in a cave or crevice by running water, but also in tree cavities or under bridges. The female lays 3-4 pale eggs with dark marking, which are incubated by both parents for 16-18 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 15-20 days after hatching. Each pair usually raises 2 broods per year.

IUCN status – LC (Least concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is reported to be common but thinly spread. The population trend is difficult to determine because of uncertainty over the impacts of habitat modification on population sizes, but overall the blue whistling-thrush is not considered threatened at present.

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