SCIENTIFIC NAME: Turdus eunomus
The Dusky Thrush is heavily marked, medium-sized but stocky thrush. It is closely related to the more southerly breeding Naumann's Thrush, the two have often been regarded as conspecific.
The Dusky Thrush is a medium-sized but stocky thrush, measuring 9.0 - 9.8 inches in length and 62 - 88 grams in weight. (Exhausted vagrants may weigh only 44 - 57 grams.)
Males have dull grayish-brown crown and upperparts, with pale gray to whitish feather centers. The upperwing is bright rufous-chestnut. The tail is dark brown.
Underparts, chin and throat are whitish, whereas breast and flanks are blackish with white scaly pattern. Belly and vent are off-white. There are one or two black-flecked breast bands. Underwing-coverts and axillaries are rufous.
The forehead and crown are like the upperparts. Ear-coverts and malar stripe are blackish and contrast strongly with white supercilium, submoustachial area, chin and throat. The lores are blackish.
The bill is blackish with yellow base of lower mandible. Eyes are dark brown. Legs and feet are blackish-brown.
Females resemble males but are duller and browner above, including the head. They have less blackish coloration on ear- coverts, and less black on the breast.
There is less or no rufous on the upperwing. The whitish chin and throat are more heavily spotted or slightly streaked. The malar stripe may appear more distinct.
Juveniles resemble adults but are extensively spotted buff above and blackish below. The breast band is absent.
The 1st winter is like the females, but have blackish feather centers on much of the upperparts.
CALL: Gives “srrii-i” in flight, recalling Redwing’s call. They often utter strident “chek-chek-chek-chek” when they fly to the roost. Some subdued “chuck” notes can be heard when the bird is alarmed. It also produces a chattering “quaawag”.
SONG: Like most thrushes, the male has musical song, a series of loud, short phrases including melancholy sounds, soft whistles and dry trills.
This song may be sustained like the songs of Common Nightingale, Songthrush and Common Blackbird “tryuuuu-tvee-tryu tyuu-trrryu-uute tryuute tryuute frrrrr”.
Feeds on insects, earthworms, berries and fruits.
Breeds in open forests and woodlands, lowland tundra edges, dwarf willow thickets, but also poplar, birch, alder and coniferous woodlands and thickets, and in riverside scrub with tall trees. It often extends into montane areas.
Winters in sparse woodland, hillside scrub, open grasslands or with scattered trees, cultivated areas and even parks and gardens.
Breeds in north-central and northeast Siberia. It may occur in Alaska during the spring migration, but it is rare in coastal Alaska, along Aleutians and coastal British Columbia during the winter.
Winters from northeast India eastern to northern Vietnam, southeastern and eastern China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan.
The nest is a cup-shaped, made of grass, rootlets, twigs and moss. It is lined with mud and finer grasses.
The female lays 4 - 6 greenish-blue eggs with dark markings. She incubates them for 13 - 15 days.