Return of Bird of the Week: Ecuadorian Thrush

Ecuadorian Thrush, Ecuador, 2014

Formerly lumped with the Spectacled Thrush, although the eye-ring of the latter is a pretty definitive difference, this species is a near-endemic to the country that gives it its name, with a tiny bit of its range in far northern Peru. Ecuadorian Thrushes prefer closed forest, but will venture into more open country, and are found from sea level to perhaps 2,200 meters above sea level in West Ecuador. If you’ve been to Ecuador, you know that’s a fairly narrow part of that exceptionally mountainous country.

Olive brown, darker above and paler below, with a red-orange eye and a slight orange eye-ring, It’s fairly common within its limited range. Both sexes are the same, there are no subspecies and it’s another very poorly studied Neotropic species. The one study of its breeding involving 17 nests reported all the nests in trees, up to six meters off the ground. The nests were a pretty typical mud and moss, Turdus nests. The clutch averages about three eggs. There’s no data or incubation or fledging intervals; the nesting success rate in those 17 nests – a tiny sample – was a meager 33%.

The species is reported as the commonest Turdus thrush within its limited range, and there’s some evidence that the range is expanding into the central valley of Ecuador. So the IUCN classifies its as a species of Least Concern.

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