Grey-cheeked Thrush (Catharus minimus)

Grey-cheeked Thrush

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Turdidae | [latin] Catharus minimus | [UK] Grey-cheeked Thrush | [FR] Grive a joues grises | [DE] Grauwangen-Drossel | [ES] Zorzal cara gris | [NL] Grijswangdwerglijster


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Catharus minimus NA n LA
Catharus minimus aliciae
Catharus minimus minimus

Physical charateristics

The length of the Gray-Cheeked Thrush is about 16 centimeters. The sexes are similar and have a distinctive song which is very high pitched with quick chippers. They have olive-brown upper parts, gray cheeks, and pink legs. The under parts are white with grayish flanks. It also has a gray, indistinct eye ring.

Listen to the sound of Grey-cheeked Thrush

[audio: Thrush.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 18 cm wingspan max.: 19 cm
size min.: 16 cm size max.: 17 cm
incubation min.: 13 days incubation max.: 15 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 15 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 5  


North America : North


Occupant of the boreal forest of northern Canada and Alaska. Little is known about their winter habitat.


The Gray-Cheeked Thrush usually has one brood per season. They will lay a second brood if the first nest fails early in the season. The female builds the nest which normally consists of dried grasses mixed with a supporting layer of mud. The incubation period is thirteen to fourteen days. They incubate between three to five eggs, but usually only four. The eggs are light greenish-blue, marked with light brown dots or splotches, and are oval to short-oval in shape. The young are initially dependent on their parents for food.

Feeding habits

The Gray-Cheeked Thrush eats mostly insects such as beetles, weevils, ants, wasps, and caterpillars. They may also consume spiders, crayfish, sow bugs, and earthworms. They also eat grapes, wild cherries, blackberries, and raspberries.(


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 is extremely large, and hence does not 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.

Northeast Siberia across Alaska and northern Canada to north-central Quebec, Labrador, and Newfoundland. South to northern British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario.

Grey-cheeked Thrush status Least Concern


During the winter, the Gray-Cheeked Thrush migrates to the northern part of South America into Colombia, Venezuela, south to Peru, and into northwest Brazil.

Distribution map

Grey-cheeked Thrush distribution range map

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