Family Thrushes (Turdidae)

Least Concern

Pale Thrush (Turdus pallidus)


French: Merle pâle German: Fahldrossel Spanish: Zorzal pálido

Turdus pallidus

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

“Sibiria, ultra lacum Baikal” = Transbaikalia


Formerly treated as conspecific with T. chrysolaus, or with both latter and T. obscurus. Monotypic.


SE Russia, NE China (Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning), Korea, and has bred Japan (SW Honshu); non-breeding S China (S of R Yangtze, W to Guizhou and SE Yunnan), S Korea, C & S Japan and Taiwan.

Descriptive notes

23–25 cm; 64–90 g. Male has dull brownish-grey head, often (presumably older birds) extending to chin and throat, shading to chestnut-tinged pale brown upper­parts... read more


Song, sometimes given just prior to spring migration, a series of loud, cheerful but monotonous... read more


Low montane and submontane pine and deciduous forest, spruce forest, fir-pine woodland, thickets,... read more

Food and feeding

Insects (coleopterans) and spiders, also fruits (including whortleberries) and seeds. Commonly forages on ground in leaf litter; also in... read more


May–Aug, mainly May–Jun in Russia, May–Jul in China and Jun–Jul in N Korea; bred Aug (once) in Japan; double-... read more


Summer visitor to SE Russia and NE China, wintering Japan, S China (S of R Yangtze) and Taiwan.... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Fairly common in Russia. Common in China, although scarce to uncommon in winter in Hong Kong; common in winter in Shanghai area (where apparently... read more

Recommended citation

Collar, N. & de Juana, E. (2020). Pale Thrush (Turdus pallidus). 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 23 January 2020).