Ruddy-capped Nightingale-thrush

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Catharus frantzii

Ruddy-capped Nightingale-thrush

The Ruddy-capped Nightingale-thrush is a shy, solitary bird which is often heard before it could be seen.

It is a small thrush, measuring about 6.10 - 7.08 inches in length, and weighs around 28 - 32 grams.

Adults have bright rufous-brown crown and nape, giving the species its name. Its plumage is shading to brownish-olive on the upperparts, including wings and tail.

Face is rather grayish. Throat is paler, mostly whitish with dark streaks spreading on to the gray breast and rest of underparts, except on the whitish belly and undertail-coverts.

Bill has black upper mandible and yellow lower mandible. Eyes are dark brown. Legs and feet are flesh-colored.

Both sexes are similar, but the female may differ in extent of gray and grayish- buff on the breast. Some females can be whiter on belly.

Juveniles resemble adults with duller crown, mostly dark olive-brown. Upperparts are finely mottled due to paler centers of feathers.

Breast is dull olive with darker tips to feathers, forming bars on lower breast, belly and flanks.

CALL: Utters a sharp, rising whistle “whooeeet” or a quavering “wheeer” as contact calls. Alarm notes are a hoarse “work” and a harsh “correeee”.

SONG: A series of musical notes including fluty trills, whistles and warbles “shee-vee-li-ee-ree” interspersed with short pauses. 

It often sings more at the onset of the rainy season. The song is usually given in the early morning and the evening, from low, concealed perch.

Feeds on numerous insects’ species, spiders and other invertebrates. It also consumes berries and sometimes follows ant swarms.

Frequents dense damp understory of wet to semi-humid forests and thickets, forest edges and clearings, ravines and varied vegetation in areas between 1350 and 3500 meters of elevation.

Ranges from Central Mexico through Central America to Western Panama.

Nest is a bulky cup made with green moss, weed stems, plant fibers, vines and dry grass. The inner cup is lined with rootlets, dry leaves and fine grass, with sometimes horsehair.

It is often placed near a stream, between 1 and 4 meters above the ground in forest undergrowth, fern-clump or shrub.

The female lays two pale greenish-blue eggs with heavy dark mottling. She incubates during 15 - 16 days.


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