Family Thrushes (Turdidae)

Least Concern

Grey-cheeked Thrush (Catharus minimus)


French: Grive à joues grises German: Grauwangen-Musendrossel Spanish: Zorzalito carigrís

Turdus minimus


, 1848,

Bogotá, Colombia


In the past placed in genus Hylocichla. Formerly treated as conspecific with C. bicknelli; intermediates between the two occur, and Newfoundland population of present species approaches C. bicknelli in size and coloration. Range of nominate race debatable; race aliciae only slightly different, and species sometimes treated as monotypic. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. m. aliciae (S. F. Baird, 1858) – NE Siberia (E from R Kolyma), Alaska and Canada; non-breeding mainly N South America E of Andes, scarce in Greater Antilles.
  • C. m. minimus (Lafresnaye, 1848) – E Canada (Newfoundland, possibly also N Quebec); non-breeding N South America E of Andes.
  • Descriptive notes

    17–18·5 cm; 26–50 g. Nominate race is olive-tinged grey-brown above, dull whitish below, with slightly greyish face, indistinct pale eyering, dark brown... read more


    Song, rarely in winter quarters and generally limited to 6-week period on breeding grounds, a... read more


    Breeds in taiga and adjacent tundra, where found in areas of medium-height shrubs with dense woody... read more

    Food and feeding

    Invertebrates, with some fruit. Stomachs of birds mostly on spring and autumn passages held 75% animal and 25% vegetable matter: beetles... read more


    Mid-May to early Aug in North America and Jun–Jul in Siberia; single-brooded. Monogamous. No data on territory size, but recorded... read more


    Long-distance migrant. Departure from breeding grounds begins mid-Aug, mostly complete by early... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Indirect evidence suggests considerably smaller global population than C. ustulatus, given ratios of 1:5 (ringing records, Wisconsin), 1:4 (... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Christie, D.A. (2020). Grey-cheeked Thrush (Catharus minimus). 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 20 February 2020).