Family Thrushes (Turdidae)

Least Concern

Slaty-backed Nightingale-thrush (Catharus fuscater)


Taxonomy

French: Grive ardoisée German: Graurücken-Musendrossel Spanish: Zorzalito sombrío
Taxonomy:

M[yioturdus]. fuscater

Lafresnaye

, 1845,

Bogotá, Colombia

.

Isolated form hellmayri possibly represents a separate species. Proposed taxon fumosus apparently based on hybrid between present species and C. mexicanus. Racial affiliation of population recently discovered in C Andes of Colombia#R not determined. Seven subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. f. hellmayri Berlepsch, 1902 – Black-backed Nightingale-thrush – Costa Rica and W Panama.
  • C. f. mirabilis Nelson, 1912 – E Panama (Cerro Pirre area, SC Darién).
  • C. f. fuscater (Lafresnaye, 1845) – Slaty-backed Nightingale-thrush – E Panama (Cerro Tacarcuna, E Darién), E Andes of Colombia S to W Ecuador, and W Venezuela.
  • C. f. sanctaemartae Ridgway, 1904 – Santa Marta Mts, in N Colombia.
  • C. f. opertaneus Wetmore, 1955 – W Colombia (N part of W Andes).
  • C. f. caniceps Chapman, 1924 – NW & C Peru, probably also SW Ecuador.
  • C. f. mentalis P. L. Sclater & Salvin, 1876 – SE Peru and NW Bolivia (S to Santa Cruz).
  • Present also, race unknown, in Cordillera Central of Colombia#R.

    Descriptive notes

    17–19 cm; 35–38 g. Male nominate race is blackish-grey above from below eye to tail, blackest on crown and in front of eye; whitish below, with grey-flecked... read more

    Voice

    Song resembles that of C. dryas, but more repetitive and leisurely, dreamy and mesmerizing... read more

    Habitat

    Undergrowth of dense mossy humid and wet montane forest, subtropical forest and cloudforest, in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, sowbugs, spiders and, commonly, earthworms; also many berries of Rubiaceae, Gesneriaceae, etc. Commonly forages on ground, often... read more

    Breeding

    Apr–Aug in Costa Rica; Apr–Sept (Feb–Jun in C Andes) in Colombia; fledglings in Jul in Ecuador; Dec–Jan, with... read more

    Movements

    Sedentary, so far as known.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Uncommon to locally fairly common. Common in Costa Rica on both slopes, and sometimes abundant in Guanacaste and Tilarán... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. (2019). Slaty-backed Nightingale-thrush (Catharus fuscater). 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 https://www.hbw.com/node/58367 on 19 February 2019).