Tag Archives: thrush

Bird of the Week – Week 134 – Kurrichane thrush

The Kurrichane thrush is fairly common within the north-eastern part of the southern African region and they are often to be seen hopping about in the undergrowth.  Their preferred habitat includes woodland, riverine bush and parks and gardens that have sufficient ground cover. Its range is expanding due to its adaptation to the man-modified environment.

Kurrichane thrush

Kurrichane thrushes have a length of approximately 23 cm and the sexes are alike in both size and plumage. They have grey upper parts and tail; the throat is white with a distinctive dark malar stripe; the upper breast is grey-brown; under parts are orange and the vent is cream. The bill is bright orange; eyes are brown with an orange eye ring; legs and feet are orange.

Kurrichane thrush

The Kurrichane thrush is usually found singly and forages mainly on the ground, feeding on insects and some fruit. It may also hawk insects from the air.

The call of the Kurrichane thrush is a series of loud and tuneful whistled notes.

Kurrichane thrush

The Kurrichane thrush is monogamous and they build a nest of grass and fine roots onto a mud base. The whole nest may be lined with mud. The female lays a clutch of one to four pale green to blue eggs eggs that hatch after an incubation period of approximately thirteen days.

Kurrichane thrush

The scientific binomial for the Kurrichane thrush is Turdus libonyana; Turdus from the Latin for “a thrush”, and  libonyana being a derived from a tribal name in the Tswana language. Thus the name describes a thrush associated with the Tswana people, which is probably not as odd as it sounds.

Kurrichane thrush

Bird of the week – Week 74 : White-browed scrub-robin

The White-browed scrub-robin, with a length of around 15 cm, is much the same size as the other scrub-robins and out in the field it is often necessary to look at the birds quite carefully to identify them with any certainty.  The sexes are alike in both size and plumage colouration.  The upper parts are light brown and they have conspicuous white eyebrows and two white wingbars; rump is orange- rufous; the tail blackish tipped with white; under parts are white, breast and sides streaked with black.  Bill is black, eyes brown and legs and feet pinkish-grey.

White-browed scrub-robin

The White-browed scrub-robin is quite common preferring woodlands and patches of acacia, and is usually found in pairs.  In southern Africa its range is restricted to the wetter western part of the region, and it is also found outside the region as far north as Ethiopia.

It feeds mainly on insects and spiders, favouring termites and ants, foraging on the ground by running forward a few steps and flicking its tail as it pauses to pick at an insect.  The White-browed scrub-robin also forages through piles of leaf-litter in its hunt for food.

White-browed scrub-robin

The call of the White-browed scrub-robin, like that of the robins generally, is quite melodious, consisting of a series of whistled phrases.  It often sings from a branch low down within a thicket and can be surprisingly hard to see even when it can be heard close-by.

White-browed scrub-robin

White-browed scrub-robins are monogamous and construct a deep cup nest of grass lined with finer grass, often locating it in the grass at the base of a tree.  The female lays a clutch of two to four white eggs that hatch after an incubation period of approximately 12 days.

The scientific binomial for the White-browed scrub-robin is Cercotrichas leucophrys; Cercotrichas from the Greek for a “long tailed thrush” and leucophrys from the Greek for “white eyebrow”.  Thus a long tailed thrush with a white eyebrow, which is quite an apt description, as the scrub-robins were at one time classified as part of the thrush family.

White-browed scrub-robin