Family Laughingthrushes and allies (Leiotrichidae)

Least Concern

Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush (Trochalopteron erythrocephalum)


French: Garrulaxe à tête rousse German: Rotscheitelhäherling Spanish: Charlatán coronicastaño
Other common names: Red-headed Laughingthrush

Cinclosoma erythrocephalum


, 1832,

Simla, Himachal Pradesh, India


Until recently regarded as conspecific with T. chrysopterum, T. melanostigma, T. peninsulae and even T. ngoclinhense; race woodi of T. chrysopterum was initially retained in present species. Races kali and nigrimentum intergrade, but latter is highly distinct and situation merits further research, although vocal differences apparently minor based on available recordings. Proposed race imprudens (from hills of Assam N & E of R Brahmaputra) is indistinguishable from latter. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. e. erythrocephalum (Vigors, 1832) – Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush – W Himachal Pradesh E to Uttarakhand, in N India.
  • T. e. kali (Vaurie, 1953) – W & C Nepal.
  • T. e. nigrimentum Oates, 1889 – Black-eared Laughingthrush – E Nepal E to Bhutan and NE India (Arunachal Pradesh, N Assam) and adjacent S China (SE Xizang).
  • Descriptive notes

    24–26 cm; 65–90 g. Medium-sized, olive-grey laughingthrush with chestnut crown, black throat, heavy black scaling on mantle and light black scaling on breast,... read more


    Songs of nominate race described as quick, clear, wiry, emphatic, and consisting of 1–2... read more


    Understorey, dense undergrowth and bamboo in broadleaf evergreen, pine and mixed forests, dwarf... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, including beetles (Coleoptera), flies (Diptera) and ants (Formicidae) and their larvae and pupae, snails, leeches; also berries,... read more


    Apr–Oct. Nest a substantial, rather neat, deep cup, made of dead leaves, dry grasses, fern fronds, fine twigs, creepers, herb stems,... read more


    Resident; minor altitudinal displacements in Bhutan, where lowest elevations reached Nov–Feb... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not assessed. Generally common. Extinct in Pakistan, where one 19th-century record. Common and fairly widespread in Nepal. Abundant throughout temperate zone in Bhutan. In... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Robson, C. (2020). Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush (Trochalopteron erythrocephalum). 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 24 February 2020).