Austral Thrush

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Turdus falcklandii

Austral Thrush

The Austral Thrush is a beautiful, mid-sized thrush that is resident in the southern parts of South America and on Falckland Islands.

There are three subspecies, but only two are recognized, the Magellan Thrush from south Argentina and south Central Chile and the Falkland Thrush from the Falkland Islands.

Falkland Thrush (Turdus falcklandii)

Both sexes measure about 9.06 - 10.24 inches in length and weigh about 85 - 113 grams.

Adults have brown-olive upperparts, with darker flight feathers and retrices. Underparts are buff-brown to ochre- brown, except for the chin and throat which are finely streaked blackish and buffy.

Head is blackish-brown to below the eyes. The strong, pointed bill is orange-yellow. Eyes are dark brown with yellow eye-ring. Legs and feet are orange-yellow.

Both adults are almost similar.

Juveniles resemble adults but have heavy buff-streaked upperparts and buffy- yellow underparts spotted dark brown.

Typical calls are low-pitched “uiiit”, some harsher rattles “wreet” or “sreep”, and sharp “trrrt trrrt”
Alarm call is a stronger and deeper “choyz-choyz-choyz”.
On the breeding grounds, it gives some deep, harsh “skwuk” or “squack” at intruders during territory defense.

Uttered from exposed perch, often tree top, and well into night. It can be considered weak and rich and includes sustained series of measured warbling phrases, repeated several times such as “juiep tiele churi juiep cheee”. They may perform occasional mimicry.
On the Falckland Islands, the song is also given from various perches and varies in quality, becoming more plaintive, with slow series of whistles and harsh chuckles, alternating with low whirring.
During the courtship displays, we can hear a low buzzing “chiz-chiz”.

Feed mainly on worms and snails, and numerous arthropods including insect larvae and pupae. They also take fruits and berries, and favors the strawberries.

They frequent bird feeders and readily take household scraps in some parts of their range.

Frequents open understorey of Nothofagus antarctica forest to open forests and various wooded areas. Also seen in brushy country and cultivated areas with some scattered trees and hedges, and also occurs in gardens.

Found in southern South America, from Southern Argentina and South and Central Chile to Tierra del Fuego, and on Falckland Islands.

Their nest is a large, deep cup, made with dry grass stems, root fibers and occasionally wool or string. Interior is walled with mud or dung, and lined with grass or horsehair.

The female lays 2 - 3 blue-green eggs with dark markings. Incubation lasts about two weeks, mainly by female while the male patrols in the surroundings.


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