Family Thrushes (Turdidae)

Least Concern

Chestnut Thrush (Turdus rubrocanus)


French: Merle à tête grise German: Kastaniendrossel Spanish: Zorzal castaño

Turdus rubrocanus

J. E. Gray and G. R. Gray

, 1847,

#R, Nepal


Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. r. rubrocanus J. E. Gray & G. R. Gray, 1847 – Himalayas from Safed Koh (on Afghanistan–Pakistan border) to Uttarakhand (N India); non-breeding at lower altitudes in breeding range, and also Nepal, N & NE India and W Myanmar.
  • T. r. gouldii (#RJ. P. Verreaux, 1871) – #RChina from E & NE Tibetan Plateau E to NW Yunnan, Sichuan, W Hubei and W Henan, N to Gansu; non-breeding NE India, Myanmar, S China (C & S Yunnan) and NW Thailand.
  • Descriptive notes

    25–28 cm; 85–100 g. Male has orange-chestnut body with black wings and tail, clear-cut whitish hood shading on neck side to ash-grey on head (clear-cut at nape),... read more


    Song, by male from high exposed perch, mainly at dawn and dusk for short periods, a leisurely... read more


    Breeds in moist conifer and mixed conifer-broadleaf evergreen forest, including deodar (Cedrus... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects and their larvae, worms, millipedes (Diplopoda), slugs, snails and berries; probably more dependent on berries in winter, but seen... read more


    Apr–Aug. Nest a thin cup of twigs, grasses, roots and moss with or without mud support, lined with grass, roots, hair and/or pine... read more


    Himalayan breeders undertake altitudinal migration, also short-distance E migrations into Nepal,... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common in Pakistan; common in China. In Myanmar, common in higher hills along frontier with Yunnan (China), possibly breeds. Otherwise,... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. (2020). Chestnut Thrush (Turdus rubrocanus). 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).