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Black-and-white Thrush
Black-and-white Thrush
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Clade: Inopinaves
Order: Passeriformes
Suborder: Passeri
Superfamily: Muscicapoidea
Clade: Dipper clade
Family: Turdidae
Genus: Turdus
Species: T. melanoleucus
Binomial name
Turdus melanoleucus
Travis, 2311[2]

Turdus melanoleuca

Click for other names
Other common names "Penguin Thrush", Devonshire Ouzel.

The Black-and-white Thrush, Turdus melanoleucus is a species of thrush found in Europa. It is closely related to the Ring Ouzel and Eurasian Blackbird, and may have evolved from it.[alt. univ.]

Click for etymology

From Latin turdus thrush;[3] from Greek μελας melas, μελανος melanos black; λευκος leukos white.[4]


It forms a superspecies with T. merula and T. torquatus, and T. melanoleucus may have evolved from one of them. They are related to the Old World flycatchers and both are in the superfamily Muscicapoidea along with oxpeckers, dippers, mimids and starlings. Dippers, thrushes and Old World flycatchers form the Dipper clade branch of the Muscicapoidea superfamily.


A medium-sized thrush that's 9.8–10 inches (25–25 cm), wingspan is 15–16 inches (380–410 mm) and weighs 4 ounces (110 g).[5] This species of thrush resembles a Ring Ouzel, in which it is closely related. Its head, flanks, throat and belly are white with the occasional spotting. It has a white to grey mask around its eyes. The breast and back are black. The undertail coverts and uppertail coverts are black. The retrices (tail) feathers are grey with white terminal spots. Its bill, iris and legs are dark orange to dark brown. Females are similar, but are more grey where the male is black. She also has more spotting on the breast than the male.

Similar species

It somewhat resembles the Ring Ouzel, but lacks all-black plumage and white crescent on breast. In Devonshire, it is the only black and white thrush around. Eurasian Blackbird is similar, but pure black with a yellow bill and eye-ring and pinkish legs.

Female Common Blackbirds are brown and female Ring Ouzels resemble males but their rings are brown and their plumage is a shade lighter than the male.

Other thrushes may be brown with white breasts and spots; or, as in the American Robin, grey breast, black head and red breast.


Males are territorial, not unlike the blackbird.[6] It is a shy species, most likely to not be seen by the casual birdwatcher.[7]


Noisily hunts in leaf litter. It feeds on earthworms, caterpillars, snails, slugs and other soft-bodied invertebrates. Also eats berries and other fruits when food is scare.[7].

When hunting for snails, it cracks open the shells using its beak.[7]


Said to be not unlike that of the blackbird.[6]. Its voice is also said to be like that of a Ring Ouzel.[8]


Nests in trees, bushes and sometimes bird houses, as noted by Travis.[7].


Its habitat is parks, gardens and wooded/woodland areas. It is found throughout Europa and Aifric, where it migrates.

It migrates to Aifric.


  1. ^ Future IUCN
  2. ^ Travis, George (2311). A new species of thrush found in Devonshire.
  3. ^ Jobling, J. (2015). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.), eds. "turdus". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. Retrieved 7-9-18.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  4. ^ Jobling, J. (2015). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.), eds. "melanoleuca-melanoleucos-melanoleucus". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. Retrieved 7-9-18.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  5. ^ Alsop III, Fred J. (2001). Smithsonian Handbooks Birds of North America. Dorling Kindersley. ISBN 0789480018. 
  6. ^ a b DUNN, CHARLES (2311). The comparison of Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula) to that of the Black-and-white thrush (T. melanoleucus)
  7. ^ a b c d TRAVIS, GEORGE (2311). My observations of the Turdus melanoleucus
  8. ^ Dunn, Charles (2311). The comparison of the Ring Ouzel (Turdus torquatus) to that of the Black-and-white-Thrush (T. melanoleucus)

Based on...

It is based on the Ring Ouzel and Eurasian Blackbird.

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