Family Thrushes (Turdidae)

Least Concern

Sombre Thrush (Turdus anthracinus)


French: Merle anthracite German: Anthrazitdrossel Spanish: Mirlo carbonero

Turdus anthracinus


, 1858,

Mendoza, Argentina


Hitherto treated as conspecific with T. chiguanco, but differs in its darker grey-brown plumage (2); narrow but distinct yellow eyering vs none (3); lack of any streaking on chin and upper throat in male (1); shorter wing (sampled without measuring; allow 1); song of 4–7 vs 2–3 melodious notes followed by one or a few higher-pitched squeaky ones, thus with more whistled notes (2) which are shorter (ns[1]) and given at higher pace (2)#R. Relationship to much larger T. fuscater worthy of study. Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

C Bolivia (S from C La Paz, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz) and NE Chile (Antofagasta, Atacama) S to WC Argentina (locally in adjacent C Chile).

Descriptive notes

25–28 cm; 75–120 g. Adult male is almost entirely sooty black, with slightly paler throat and underparts due to paler edges to these feathers in fresh plumage, dark underwing... read more


Song, mainly at dawn and dusk and only in austral spring and summer, from high branch, telephone... read more


Agricultural and semi-open areas with scattered trees, thickets and hedges, gardens, parks and... read more

Food and feeding

Earthworms, insects (including noctuid moth caterpillars), spiders; fruits of cultivated trees, also berries of Condalia lineata.... read more


Fledglings Jan–Feb and Apr in Bolivia; eggs Jan in Chile; eggs in Nov and Feb, a chick in Jan, fledglings Mar–Apr, in Argentina. Nest a... read more


Presumably sedentary in most areas, although strong seasonal fluctuations in abundance have been... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly common to common, and a rather familiar species; locally abundant in Bolivia. In Argentina, at least formerly (to 1950s), was... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Sombre Thrush (Turdus anthracinus). 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 27 February 2020).