Family Thrushes (Turdidae)

Least Concern

Ethiopian Thrush (Psophocichla simensis)


French: Grive d’Éthiopie German: Kosobaumdrossel Spanish: Zorzal del Simen

Merula (Turdus) simensis


, 1837,

#R, Angetkat, northern Ethiopia


Hitherto treated as conspecific with P. litsitsirupa, but differs fairly strongly genetically#R and in its browner-grey upperparts (ns[1]); markedly buffier lower head sides, breast and flanks (2); spots on underparts fewer and rounder in shape (1); weaker black markings on malar, below eye and on rear ear-coverts (1); song consisting mainly of sharp “tsik” calls and fairly high-pitched pure downslurred whistles, with very few throaty whistles, vs lower-pitched rich throaty whistles, and only occasionally a sharper “tchek” call or pure downslurred whistles, hence many higher-pitched notes (2) and many more pure whistles (at least 1)#R. Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

Highlands of Eritrea and Ethiopia.

Descriptive notes

20–22 cm. Mid-sized, broad-winged, short-tailed thrush with Zoothera face pattern and Turdus wing pattern; sometimes flicks one wing at a time. Adult is... read more


Song a variety of loud, slow, short phrases combining mainly sharp “tsik” calls and fairly high-... read more


Mainly in montane Hagenia and bamboo, and moorlands with Hypericum, heath and... read more

Food and feeding

Diet presumably much like that of P. litsitsirupa. Forages on open ground, scraping in leaf litter. Observed alone, in pairs or in... read more


Jun–Aug in Eritrea and Mar–Jul in Ethiopia. Nest a bulky open cup of roots, tendrils, twigs and long stems with wool and dung added,... read more


Apparently resident.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Generally common to very common throughout range. No known threats.

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Ethiopian Thrush (Psophocichla simensis). 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).