Family Thrushes (Turdidae)

Least Concern

Floodplain Thrush (Turdus debilis)


French: Merle de Hellmayr German: Hellmayrdrossel Spanish: Zorzal piquinegro amazónico

Turdus ignobilis debilis


, 1902,

Rio Madeira, western Brazil


Very recently proposed for separation from T. ignobilis based on strong molecular and relatively weak plumage differences#R. This accepted here, given (vs all other taxa in T. ignobilis as constituted in HBW, including T. arthuri) greater amount of white on throat including small white mark on uppermost breast (2); more white on underparts (1); olive-brown upperparts (distinction too subtle to score; ns); use of floodplain (várzea) forest (1); and leisurely song (for speed allow 2) of single complex notes given one by one (allow 2)#R. Monotypic.

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

Amazon floodplain from S Colombia, E Ecuador and E Peru to N Bolivia and NW Brazil (between R Negro and R Madeira)#R.

Descriptive notes

18·5–22 cm; 48–65·1 g. A drab, nondescript thrush, olive-brown above and paler below, with black bill and legs, and dark eyering. Adult is smaller-... read more


Song a typical Turdus series of phrases, but subdued and uninspired, often introduced with... read more


Clearings, semi-open areas, savannas with gallery woodland, cerrado, lighter secondary... read more

Food and feeding

Diet basically undescribed, but presumably similar to that of T. ignobilis. Forages mainly in trees, regularly visiting fruiting... read more


Very few data. One nest in SE Peru, in late Jan, was 3 m above ground in the canopy of an ornamental tree in a restaurant garden, an untidy... read more


Apparently sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Uncommon to fairly common in Bolivia, and fairly common in Peru. Fairly common in Podocarpus National Park, in Ecuador, in which... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Floodplain Thrush (Turdus debilis). 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 21 February 2020).