Family Thrushes (Turdidae)

Least Concern

Grey-backed Thrush (Turdus hortulorum)


French: Merle à dos gris German: Amurdrossel Spanish: Zorzal dorsigrís

Turdus hortulorum

P. L. Sclater

, 1863,

Camoëns Garden, Macau, China


Formerly considered conspecific with T. dissimilis. Monotypic.


SE Russia (SE Siberia, S Russian Far East), NE China (Heilongjiang) and N Korea; non-breeding SE China (SE Yunnan E to Anhui and Zhejiang) and N Vietnam (E Tonkin, N Annam).

Descriptive notes

20–23 cm; 61–69 g. Male is grey above, shading to pale grey on mid-breast, with vague buffy-brown submous­tachial and grey-streaked whitish chin; lower breast... read more


Song, commonly from treetop, a series of short (3–4 seconds) loud variable phrases, each of... read more


Dense broadleaf evergreen forest, open deciduous forest (thin oak woods and pine-hornbeam forests... read more

Food and feeding

Insects, snails and fruit. Commonly forages on ground, scratching in leaf litter.


May to mid-Aug; double-brooded. Nest a cup of grasses and mud, lined with dry stems, placed low down in fork of thin branches of small tree... read more


Migratory; winters in SE China and N Vietnam. Autumn departure from breeding grounds Sept. Main... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common breeder in Russia and China; rare breeding species in N Korea, and uncommon and local in S Korea. In non-breeding areas, fairly common in S... read more

Recommended citation

Collar, N. & de Juana, E. (2020). Grey-backed Thrush (Turdus hortulorum). 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 28 February 2020).