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White-breasted Thrasher

From Opus

Ramphocinclus brachyurus
Photo by njlarsenLocation: La Caravelle, Martinique.
Photo by njlarsen
Location: La Caravelle, Martinique.

Contents

[edit] Identification

Strikingly two-colored with dark brown upperparts and clean white underparts; the bill is long and slightly down-curved, while the iris is red. Sexes are identical. Immatures are much more evenly colored in dark brown, but with time develops a creamy white patch on the breast that eventually develops into the white underside.

The subspecies on Martinique is smaller and greyer than the subspecies on St. Lucia.

The White-breasted Thrasher is more contrasty and has a shorter bill then the Grey Trembler, which has white iris. The other local thrashers (Scaly-breasted Thrasher and Pearly-eyed Thrasher) both lack the clean white underparts.

[edit] Distribution

Martinique and St. Lucia; these two islands constitute the entire range for this species. In Martinique only found on the peninsula "Presqu'Île de la Caravelle", in St. Lucia in drier forest and second growth along the east coast.

Conservation Concerns: This species is considered Endangered according to the Birdlife International species factsheet. The status is based on a small population limited to small parts of the islands in question: for example on Martinique, it is limited to a peninsula of about 5 Km-square. Among the threats are habitat loss, and imported predators including cats, dogs, and mongoose. The favourite habitats are unfortunately poorly protected in St. Lucia; the distal half of Presqu'Île de la Caravelle in Martinique is a nature reserve.

[edit] Taxonomy

The nominate subspecies is found on Martinique while sanctaluciae is found on St. Lucia[1]. The Birdlife story below suggests that these may eventually gain independent species status, however, no data is given[2].

[edit] Habitat

Dense semi-arid scrub-forest and second-growth.

[edit] Behaviour

Forages low, and is difficult to get to see except in company with a guide who can call the bird.

Gives a number of typical thrasher-like sounds, but also a higher pitch, metallic call (tingg or pling ...)[3].

Of one nest seen, it was a flimsy stick construction near the top of a thin tree reaching about 15 feet above ground[3].

[edit] References

  1. Clements, James F. 2007. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to October 2007. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. ISBN 9780801445019
  2. Birdlife story which describes the impact of a hotel development in the middle of the stronghold for this species on St. Lucia.
  3. Personal observation of Birdforum member njlarsen

[edit] External Links

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