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Alternative name: Orange-headed Ground-Thrush
Includes the White-headed Ground Thrush (Geokichla albogularis); not to be confused with the White-throated Thrush from the Americas.
Total length 20-23 cm (8-9 in). Males of this small thrush have uniform grey upperparts and orange head and underparts. Females and sub-adults have olive-brown upperparts and tail. The racial variation is striking (see taxonomy), especially in the presence/absence of a white wing-bar and the facial features. Some races have a uniform orange head, some have a slightly duller throat and face with two vertical dark lines (one below the eye and a second on the auriculars), while other have a white face and throat with or without two vertical dark facial lines. Juveniles of all races have dark facial lines and duller upperparts and underparts with some streaking/mottling.
There are also a few records of migrants from Sumatra. Often local and scarse, but commoner in parts of the India.
Tropical races are generally resident, but races that breed in colder regions (e.g. the Himalayas and parts of China) are migratory and winter further south.
It has been suggested that some taxa should be considered separate species. Especially albogularis and andamanensis (from the Nicobar and Andaman Islands), the only white-faced and -throated taxa with faint or no vertical dark facial lines, are regularly considered a separate species; the White-throated Ground Thrush (G. albogularis with race andamanensis). Other separations have been suggested, but the variation is confusing with similar-looking races often found far from each other.
Found in forest, plantations and secondary growth with some thickets.
Like most Zoothera and Geokichla thrushes it can be quite secretive. At least partially crepuscular. It is omnivorous, eating a wide range of insects, earthworms and fruit. They nest in trees. They do not form flocks.
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