Blue Whistling Thrush (Myophonus caeruleus)

Blue Whistling Thrush

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Turdidae | [latin] Myophonus caeruleus | [UK] Blue Whistling Thrush | [FR] Merle siffleur bleu | [DE] Purpur-Pfeifdrossel | [ES] Arrenga Comun | [NL] Chinese Fluitlijster


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Geomalia caeruleus
Myophonus caeruleus OR widespread, also c, sc Asia
Myophonus caeruleus caeruleus
Myophonus caeruleus crassirostris
Myophonus caeruleus dichrorhynchus
Myophonus caeruleus eugenei
Myophonus caeruleus flavirostris
Myophonus caeruleus temminckii

Physical charateristics

It is 40-41 cm long, with deep blue or bluish-grey plumage with white markings, a shaggy crest and a broad white collar around the neck. Its most distinguishing characteristic is the entire rufous belly, which also covers the entire breast of the male. Females are more colorful than the male, having a bluish-grey breast, and a narrow white stripe separating the breast from the belly.

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 40 cm size max.: 41 cm
incubation min.: 22 days incubation max.: 25 days
fledging min.: 33 days fledging max.: 25 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 6  


Oriental Region : widespread, also Central, Southcentral Asia


Lakes, rivers, streams, lagoons, and coastal regions. Wide slow-flowing rivers, lowland lakes, marshes, estuaries, brackish coastal lagoons, mangroves, and sometimes open beaches; also sometimes ricefields, reservoirs, canals, water gardens in cities, and Chilean fiords. In Colombia and Bolivia, frequents primarily open habitat along the edges of lakes and streams.


Nests in a horizontal burrow dug in a steep earth or sand bank usually along a river but occasionally in erosion gullies and road cuts well away from water. Tunnel is dug by both sexes and is 2-3 meter deep, 10 cm high with a small chamber at the end. Clutch size is 3-6 eggs, incubated for 212-25 days by both male and female in 24 hour shifts, changing mainly in the morning. Young fledge after 33-38 days.

Feeding habits

Feeds mainly on fish although, when the waters are murky, they sometimes hunt insects, crabs and reptiles. Also reported catching Swallow-tailed Hummingbirds (Eupetomena macroura) on a couple of occasions.


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend is not known, but the population is not believed to be decreasing sufficiently rapidly to approach the thresholds under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Commonly found along the lower Rio Grande River valley in southeasternmost Texas in the United States through Central America to Tierra del Fuego in South America. Reported to expand in Northern direction (Texas).

Blue Whistling Thrush status Least Concern


Mainly sedentary but may fly to distant waterbodies during breeding season. Some post breeding Nothern dispersal recorded.

Distribution map

Blue Whistling Thrush distribution range map

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