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Olive thrush

Turdus olivaceus
Photo by Stefan Helming (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
olive thrush (en); tordo-oliváceo (pt); merlo olivâtre (fr); zorzal oliváceo (es); kapdrossel (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Turdidae

This African species is found from Zimbabwe and Mozambique down to eastern South Africa.

The olive thrush is 24 cm long and weighs 80-110 g.

They are mostly found in evergreen forests and along forest edges, but can also be found in scrublands, rural gardens and orchards, urban areas and alien Acacia thickets.

These birds eat both fruits and various invertebrates including earthworms, snails, slugs, spiders, beetles, moths and caterpillars, glow-worms and bivalves.

Olive thrushes breed in August-December. The female builds the nest alone, a large, moist bowl made of grass stems, twigs, earth, wet leaves and moss, lined with plant stems, fibres, tendrils and bracken. It is placed in a fork in a tree branch, 3-16 m above ground. There the female lays 2-3 blue eggs, which she incubates alone for 14-16 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 16 days after hatching, but only become fully independent 2 months later.

IUCN status – LC (Least concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as generally common and sometimes abundant. The population trend is difficult to determine because of uncertainty over the impacts of habitat modification on population sizes, but they are known to adapted extremely well to the introduction of man-made habitats.

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