Cocoa thrush

Cocoa thrush
Turdus fumigatus

Photo by Margareta Wieser (Nuestro bello mundo…)

Common name:
cocoa thrush (en); sabiá-da-mata (pt); merle cacao (fr); tordo acanelado (es); sabiadrossel (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Turdidae

This species is found in northern South America, from eastern Colombia, through Venezuela and the Guyanas and south into Brazil as far as Mato Grosso, and also in a disjunct area along the eastern coast of Brazil, from Pernambuco south to Rio de Janeiro. They also occur in the Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada and St. Vincent.

These birds are 21,5-24 cm long and weigh 55-83 g.

The cocoa thrush is mostly found in the lower and middle strata of moist tropical forests and swamp forests, but also use rivers, swamps and marshes, dry savannas, mangroves, plantations and second growths. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.800 m.

They feed mainly on ground invertebrates, such as earthworms, millipedes, ants and other insects, as well as berries and small fruits.

Cocoa thrushes can breed all year round, varying among different parts of their range. The nest is a bulky cup made of twigs, placed low in a tree branch, among epiphytes or in a bank. There the female lays 2-3 greenish-blue eggs with reddish blotches, which she incubates alone for 13 days. The chicks fledge 13-15 days after hatching. Each pair can raise 2-4 broods per year and the young reach sexual maturity after 1 year.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as uncommon to fairly common. The cocoa thrush is suspected to lose 25-30% of suitable habitat within its range over the next 2 decades based on a model of Amazonian deforestation. However, given its tolerance to habitat fragmentation and degradation, and to edge-effects it is suspected to suffer just a small decline in the near future.

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