Great Thrushes


(Turdus fuscater)

The Great Thrushes (Turdus fuscater) occur naturally in the South American countries of n Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela; where they mostly inhabit subtropical or tropical moist montane forests, high-altitude shrubland, and heavily degraded former forests.

Subspecies and Ranges

  • Great Thrush - Turdus fuscater fuscater (d’Orbigny and Lafresnaye, 1837) - Nominate Form
    • Range: Western Bolivia

  • Giant Thrush - Turdus fuscater gigas (Fraser, 1841)
    • Range: Eastern Andes of Venezuela and Colombia.

  • Turdus fuscater cacozelus (Bangs, 1898)
    • Range: Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, in northern Colombia.

  • Turdus fuscater clarus (Phelps, Sr and Phelps, Jr, 1953)
    • Range: Perijá Mountains on the northeastern Colombia-western Venezuela border.

  • Turdus fuscater quindio (Chapman, 1925)
    • Range: Southern and western Colombia and northern Ecuador.

  • Turdus fuscater gigantodes (Cabanis, 1873)
    • Range: Southern Ecuador south to central Peru.

  • Turdus fuscater ockendeni (Hellmayr, 1906)
    • Southeastern Peru


Great Thrushes were named for their large size. At 12 - 14 inches (30 - 35 cm), they are the largest thrush in the Americas. The plumage is uniform slaty-colored.

Diet / Feeding

Great Thrushes mostly feed on insects and berries found on the forest floor or in trees and shrubs.

Breeding / Nesting

Their cup nests are constructed of plant matter and placed relatively low in trees.

Alternate (Global) Names

Chinese: ??? ... Czech: Drozd velký ... Danish: Stor Solsort ... Dutch: Reuzenlijster ... Finnish: Isomustarastas ... French: Grive géante, Merle géant ... German: Riesendrossel ... Italian: Tordo maggiore ... Japanese: onitsugumi ... Norwegian: Stortrost ... Polish: drozd duzy, drozd du?y ... Russian: ??????? ????? ... Slovak: drozd obrí ... Spanish: Mirla Patinaranja, Mirlo grande, Tordo Morera ... Swedish: Stortrast

Additional Resources

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson

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