Family Laughingthrushes and allies (Leiotrichidae)

Near Threatened

Palani Laughingthrush (Trochalopteron fairbanki)


French: Garrulaxe de Fairbank German: Flötenhäherling Spanish: Charlatán de Palani
Other common names: Kerala Laughingthrush (when combined with T. meridionale)

Trochalopteron Fairbanki


, 1869,

Palni Hills, southern India


Until very recently treated as conspecific with T. meridionale (see that species) and before that with T. cachinnans including T. jerdoni. Monotypic.


S Western Ghats from Palghat Gap S to Achankovil Gap, in SE Kerala and SW Tamil Nadu, SW India.

Descriptive notes

20·5 cm. Small laughingthrush, dull olive-brown above with white supercilium, grey-streaked whitish breast and rufous-chestnut lower underparts. Adult has crown dark... read more


Song consists of short, mellow, clear, slurred notes, starting with 1–2 steeply ascending,... read more


Thickets lining streams through tea and cardamom plantations, scrub and secondary forest,... read more

Food and feeding

Insects, berries and fruit, including brambles (Rubus), Maesa, Luvunga and Trema. Forages in parties of... read more


Season Dec–Jun. Nest, built by both sexes, a cup made of coarse grasses, moss and bracken leaves, lined with fine grasses, placed up... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Western Ghats EBA. Although this species’ range is small, its... read more

Recommended citation

Collar, N., Robson, C. & Christie, D.A. (2020). Palani Laughingthrush (Trochalopteron fairbanki). 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 16 February 2020).