Family Thrushes (Turdidae)

Least Concern

Taiwan Thrush (Turdus niveiceps)


French: Merle de Taiwan German: Taiwandrossel Spanish: Zorzal de Formosa

Planesticus niveiceps


, 1919,



Hitherto treated as conspecific with T. poliocephalus, but for long regarded as the most aberrant in that assemblage (see HBW) and recently indicated as being genetically removed#R; differs in its pronounced sexual dimorphism, female strongly vs weakly different from male (olive-brown vs white crown and head sides) (3); male having dark band separating breast from belly vs no such band in other taxa (3); male with strongly vs either no or only moderately well-marked black and white undertail-coverts (1). Monotypic.

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


Descriptive notes

23 cm; c. 60 g. Distinctive thrush exhibiting strong sexual plumage dimorphism. Male has white hood down to upper breast, contrasting strongly with all-black to dark blackish... read more


Song, often delivered from prominent perch in forest canopy, a short series of high-pitched... read more


Inhabits middle and upper reaches of montane forest, at 1000–2500 m, mostly above 1800 m.

Food and feeding

Little information. Diet mainly insects and other small invertebrates, including spiders, worms, small molluscs and the like; also seeds,... read more


Song period suggests that breeding season is Apr–Jul/Aug. No other definite information.


Resident. Some altitudinal movement possible.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Restricted-range species: confined to the Taiwan EBA. This species, endemic to montane regions of Taiwan, appears to be generally... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Christie, D.A. (2020). Taiwan Thrush (Turdus niveiceps). 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 February 2020).