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A photo of a Black-breasted Thrush (Turdus dissimilis), male
Black-breasted Thrush, Male

Black-breasted Thrush

Turdus dissimilis

The black-breasted thrush, a member of the Turdidae family, is a modestly sized bird measuring between 22 to 23.5 centimeters in length, including its tail. The species exhibits sexual dimorphism; males are adorned with a striking black head, neck, and breast, transitioning to slate gray on the upper parts. Females, however, present a more subdued gray-brown plumage from their eyes to their tails, with a gently diffused buff on the throat and breast.

Identification Tips

To identify the black-breasted thrush, look for the distinct coloration differences between the sexes. Males boast a black upper section, while females are predominantly gray-brown. Both genders share the same coloration on their lower parts, which can aid in identification.


This species favors the moist tropical and subtropical montane forests, thriving at high altitudes. They are also known to inhabit tropical and subtropical dry forests, as well as moist shrublands and mangroves above high tide levels.


The black-breasted thrush ranges from north-eastern India to northern Vietnam. It is commonly found at elevations from 1,220 to 2,500 meters but may descend to lower altitudes of around 200 meters during the winter months.


The black-breasted thrush is known for its "sweet mellow" and "melodious" calls, consisting of musical phrases that span 3–8 notes. They primarily forage on the ground, feasting on insects, molluscs, and berries, but will occasionally venture to fruit trees for feeding.

Song & Calls

The thrush's call is characterized by its melodious quality, with a range of sweet, mellow notes that form tuneful phrases.


Breeding times vary by region; in India, the black-breasted thrush breeds from April to July, in Myanmar from April to June, and in China, the mating season is from May to June.

Diet and Feeding

The diet of the black-breasted thrush includes insects, molluscs, and berries. They typically gather food from the ground but will also fly to fruit trees to feed.

Conservation status

The black-breasted thrush is currently listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List. Despite a population decline over the past decade, the rate of decrease does not meet the criteria for a Vulnerable status. The decline is attributed to ongoing habitat destruction and degradation. The species has a wide distribution range exceeding 752,000 square kilometers.

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Black-breasted Thrushes on Birda

A map showing the sighting location
Nat Panda
30 Apr 2023 - 11:25am

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