Family Thrushes (Turdidae)

Least Concern

Black-breasted Thrush (Turdus dissimilis)


French: Merle à poitrine noire German: Schwarzbrustdrossel Spanish: Zorzal pechinegro

T[urdus]. dissimilis


, 1847,

lower Bengal, India


Formerly considered conspecific with T. hortulorum. Monotypic.


NE India (S Assam hills), Myanmar, NW Thailand (locally in Doi Ang Khang), S China (Yunnan and S Sichuan E to Guizhou and W Guangxi), N Laos and N Vietnam (W Tonkin); non-breeding also NE India (adjacent Assam plains), E Bangladesh, N Thailand, C Laos and E Tonkin.

Descriptive notes

22–23·5 cm. Male is black on head to nape and breast, slate-grey on rest of upperparts, orange on belly and flanks, white on lower belly to vent; bill, narrow... read more


Song very melodious, a series of short, spaced-out, leisurely phrases of 3–8 loud, variable... read more


Breeds in oak and conifer forest (including open pine woods), broadleaf evergreen forest and second... read more

Food and feeding

Insects, molluscs and berries. Forages mainly on ground, but also visits fruiting trees; rather solitary.


Apr–Jul in India, Apr–Jun in Myanmar and May–Jun in China. Nest a sturdy cup of green moss and fibres, placed 1–6 m... read more


Resident, with seasonal vertical movements; some longer-distance migrations, but very poorly... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Formerly considered Near Threatened because of habitat loss. Scarce in NE India; rare to fairly common in China. Uncommon to... read more

Recommended citation

Collar, N. (2020). Black-breasted Thrush (Turdus dissimilis). 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 17 February 2020).