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Great Thrush - BirdForum Opus

(Redirected from Turdus fuscater)
Photo © by Stanley Jones
Papallacta Hotel, Papallacta, Ecuador, December 2007
Turdus fuscater


Female, notice lack of eye ring
Photo © by creaturesnapper
Puembo, Ecuador, June 2017

28-33 cm (11-13 in)
Sooty gray, but look at variation. Orange bill and yellow-orange legs.
Male has yellow eye-ring (in some books described as orange-yellow).
Female lacks eye-ring but otherwise very similar to male.

Eye ring color is less useful in separating this species from Glossy-black Thrush than described in some books.


Juvenile, subspecies gigantodes
Photo © by Stanley Jones
Amazonas, Abra Patricia Reserve, Owlet Lodge, Peru, January 2017

Varies greatly in plumage color from olivaceous brown in St Marta mts in Colombia to almost black in SE Peru. In some regions, such as much of Venezuela and Colombia, the underside is considerably paler than upperside, but in the darkest forms there is no such contrast.

Similar Species

Subspecies cacozelus
Photo © by NJ Larsen
Cuchilla de San Lorenzo, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia, 22 August 2023

Eye ring color is less useful in separating this species from Glossy-black Thrush than described in some books. In most areas of overlap, Great Thrush is darker than Chiguanco Thrush, but it is opposite in the area where the antracinus subspecies of Chiguanco Thrush is found (parts of Bolivia -- this subspecies also has yellow eye ring).


Andes from Venezuela to Bolivia. Also found in Sierra de Perijá and Santa Marta mountains.


Male, of one of the darkest types
Photo © by GordonH
Papallacta, Ecuador, September 2004


There are 7 subspecies[1]:

  • T. f. cacozelus - Santa Marta Mountains of north-eastern Colombia
  • T. f. clarus - Sierra de Perijá on the Colombia/Venezuela border
  • T. f. quindio - Central and Western Andes of Colombia to northern Ecuador
  • T. f. gigas - Eastern Andes of Colombia to western Venezuela (Mérida and Táchira to Lara)
  • T. f. gigantodes - Southern Ecuador to northern Peru (Junín)
  • T. f. ockendeni - Andes of south-eastern Peru (Cuzco and Puno)
  • T. f. fuscater - Andes of western Bolivia (La Paz and Cochabamba)


Borders of montane forest and woodlands, agricultural areas and clearings. Mostly from 2500 to 4000m but have been found at altitudes as low as 1800m. Common in treed parks in urban areas.


Known to flick its tail upwards.


They feed on the ground. There diet consists of berries and fruit; also insects and earthworms.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2022. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2022. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. BF member personal observation
  3. Ridgely and Tudor 2009. Field guide to the songbirds of South America - The Passerines. University of Texas Press. ISBN 978-0-292-71979-8
  4. Restall et al. 2006. Birds of Northern South America. Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300124156
  5. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved August 2014)

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.1