Family Laughingthrushes and allies (Leiotrichidae)

Least Concern

Black-faced Laughingthrush (Trochalopteron affine)


French: Garrulaxe à face noire German: Schwarzscheitelhäherling Spanish: Charlatán carinegro

G[arrulax]. affinis


, 1843,

central Nepal


Has been considered conspecific with T. morrisonianum, but basis for such treatment weak. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. a. affine (Blyth, 1843) – W & C Nepal and adjacent S China (S Xizang).
  • T. a. bethelae (Rand & R. L. Fleming, 1956) – E Nepal E to Bhutan and NE India (Arunachal Pradesh) and adjacent S China (S & SE Xizang).
  • T. a. oustaleti (E. J. O. Hartert, 1909) – N Myanmar and S China (NW Yunnan and adjacent SE Xizang).
  • T. a. blythii J. P. Verreaux, 1871 – #RS Gansu S to SW Sichuan (N of Muli region), in SC China.
  • T. a. muliense (Rand, 1953) – SW Sichuan (Muli region) S to NW Yunnan (Lijiang Range), in S China.
  • T. a. saturatum (Delacour & Jabouille, 1930) – C & SE Yunnan and extreme NW Vietnam (NW Tonkin).
  • Descriptive notes

    24–26 cm; 52–85 g. Fairly large, dark brownish laughingthrush, scaled above and streaked below pale grey, with blackish-brown head and short rounded white... read more


    Song consists of repeated loud, shrill, rather high-pitched, quickish phrases, e.g. “wiee-chiweeoo... read more


    High-altitude habitats, including bushy undergrowth in broadleaf evergreen, coniferous and mixed... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, including beetles (Coleoptera); also berries and fruits, including wild strawberries (Fragaria), crabapples (Malus... read more


    Apr–Aug. Nest a large but neat cup, externally made of moss and fine twigs, internally of dry rhododendron leaves, root fibres and a... read more


    Resident; post-breeding altitudinal displacements at least in Bhutan, where occurs at lower levels... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common in Nepal, including Langtang National Park. Abundant in alpine and temperate zones in Bhutan. Common in India, where present in Buxa Tiger... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Robson, C. (2020). Black-faced Laughingthrush (Trochalopteron affine). 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 27 February 2020).