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Blue-winged Laughingthrush

From Opus

Trochalopteron squamatum
Artwork by PRATIM DAS
Artwork by PRATIM DAS


[edit] Identification

22 - 25cm. A robust, medium-sized laughingthrush.

  • Dark brown plumage finely scaled with black overall
  • Prominent black supercilium
  • Whitish eye
  • Rufous-chestnut and black wings with silver-blue trim on primaries
  • Broad dark tail with chestnut tip

Males are colder brown with broader scales, females more rufescent. Juveniles more rufescent than female with weak scaling above and none below.

[edit] Similar species

Scaly Laughingthrush is more olive overall with prominent yellow in wings and tail.

[edit] Distribution

Found in the Himalayas from central Nepal east to Bhutan, northeast India, western and northern Burma, south China (Yunnan) and northwest Vietnam.
Generally uncommon in its range.

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species[1].
Also placed in the genus Garrulax.

[edit] Habitat

Dense understorey and undergrowth in more open broadleaf evergreen forest, secondary growth, scrub and bamboo. Often near streams. Found at 900m to 2440m, locally lower.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Diet

Feeds on insects, berries and seeds.
Forages close to the ground in dense cover. Skulking and hard to see. Usually in pairs or small groups.

[edit] Breeding

Breeding season from April to July. The nest is a bulky cup made of dry bamboo or other leaves, creepers, tendrils, fine twigs, grasses, roots and moss. It's placed around 1.5m above the ground in a bush or tangle of creepers. Lays 2 - 4 eggs. Brood parasitism by Chestnut-winged Cuckoo reported.
Resident species with some dispersal to lower elevations in winter.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2013. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.8., with updates to August 2013. Downloaded from
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2007. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 12: Picathartes to Tits and Chickadees. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553422
  3. Rasmussen, PC and JC Anderton. 2005. Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334672

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