Family Thrushes (Turdidae)

Least Concern

Sooty Thrush (Turdus nigrescens)


French: Merle fuligineux German: Rußdrossel Spanish: Mirlo negruzco

Turdus nigrescens


, 1861,

Volcán de Irazú, Costa Rica




Costa Rica and W Panama.

Descriptive notes

24–25·5 cm; 96 g. Male is brownish-black, with sooty-black lores, orbital area, wings and tail; yellow-orange bill, orange eyering and legs, white iris. Female... read more


Song relatively poor, a series of short phrases each repeated 3–6 times with a few seconds... read more


Open areas at high elevations, including páramo, bushy scrub around volcanic cones, open... read more

Food and feeding

Insects and spiders, many kinds of berry, especially Ericaceae, Solanum, and melastomes, blackberries and arillate seeds. Forages... read more


Mar–May in Costa Rica. Nest a bulky cup of twigs, rootlets, lichen and moss, with tightly woven lining of soft fine grasses,... read more


In Costa Rica, some occasionally descend to 2150 m, mainly after breeding season; in Panama,... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Costa Rica and Panama Highlands EBA. Common to abundant in Costa Rica in Cordillera Central and Talamanca... read more

Recommended citation

Collar, N. (2020). Sooty Thrush (Turdus nigrescens). 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 28 January 2020).