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Grand Cayman Thrush

Turdus ravidus

The Grand Cayman thrush, known scientifically as Turdus ravidus, was a bird of ashy grey plumage, with a contrasting white underbelly. The undertail coverts and tips of the outer tail feathers also bore this white hue. Around the eye, as well as on the bill and feet, the exposed skin was a striking red. The bird's wing spanned 13.5 centimeters, while its tail measured 11 centimeters. The bill was 2.4 centimeters in length, and the legs stood at approximately 3.8 centimeters.

Habitat

This thrush favored the northern and northeastern swamps and mangroves of Grand Cayman, where the toxic manchineel trees (Hippomane mancinella) grew. It also inhabited areas strewn with sharp coral rocks and the climbing cactus (Epiphyllum hookeri).

Distribution

Endemic to Grand Cayman in the Caribbean, the Grand Cayman thrush was a bird that once flitted through its specific island home.

Behaviour

The Grand Cayman thrush was described as common in its initial discovery in 1886. However, it soon became a target for bird collectors, which led to its decline.

Extinction

After being commonly sighted in 1886, the Grand Cayman thrush faced intense pressure from collectors, with a total of twenty-one specimens taken on four separate occasions. The last reliable sighting of this bird was in the summer of 1938. Deforestation and habitat destruction, particularly from hurricanes between 1932 and 1944, are believed to have been the primary causes of its extinction. The Grand Cayman thrush was declared extinct in the 1940s.

Conservation status

The IUCN Red List has classified the Grand Cayman thrush as Extinct since the 1940s.

Similar Species

There are no known similar species mentioned for comparison, as the Grand Cayman thrush was unique to its environment.

Diet and Feeding

The diet and feeding habits of the Grand Cayman thrush were not documented before its extinction.

Breeding

Information on the breeding behavior of the Grand Cayman thrush is not available.

Song & calls

The song and calls of the Grand Cayman thrush were not recorded prior to its extinction.

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