Family Thrushes (Turdidae)

Least Concern

Andean Slaty Thrush (Turdus nigriceps)


French: Merle ardoisé German: Andengraudrossel Spanish: Zorzal plomizo andino

Turdus nigriceps


, 1874,



Until recently considered conspecific with T. subalaris. Male plumage tends to vary clinally N to S. Monotypic.


Andes of SW Ecuador (Loja) and NW Peru (Piura, Cajamarca) and from C Bolivia S to C Argentina; non-breeding also S Ecuador S to Bolivia.

Descriptive notes

18–21·5 cm; 50–67·5 g. Male is slate-grey above, shading to slightly paler below, and whitish on belly to vent, with dark-streaked white throat;... read more


Song given only in spring and summer, very ventriloquial, from hidden perch, a series of rather... read more


Canopy and borders of subtropical humid montane forest, secondary woodland, eucalyptus plantations... read more

Food and feeding

Invertebrates, but mainly fruit. Invertebrates include snails, beetles, ants and flies; fruits reported include Psychotria, ... read more


Season Nov–Feb in NW Peru (where sometimes present from early Aug); Dec–Feb in Bolivia; Oct–Dec (fledglings Jan–Feb) in NW Argentina, where... read more


Recent evidence indicates that species is a partial or austral migrant: largely non-breeding... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Locally common, but generally uncommon in Peru and treated as Near Threatened in Ecuador. In SW Ecuador, considered at some risk from... read more

Recommended citation

Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Andean Slaty Thrush (Turdus nigriceps). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 19 February 2020).