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See also other birds with "thrush" in their name: Waterthrush, Shrike-thrush, Thrush Nightingale, Rosy Thrush-tanager
Thrushes
File:American Robin 0025.png
American Robin, well-known true 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
Rafinesque, 1815
Genera

Some 20, see text

Diversity
[[List of thrushes|17 genera, 171 species[1]]]

The thrushes, family Turdidae, are a group of passerine birds that occur worldwide.

Characteristics

Thrushes are plump, soft-plumaged, small to medium-sized birds, inhabiting wooded areas, and often feed on the ground or eat small fruit. The smallest thrush may be the Forest Rock-thrush, at 21 g (0.74 oz) and 14.5 cm (5.7 in). However, the shortwings, which have ambiguous alliances with both thrushes and Old World flycatchers, can be even smaller. The Lesser Shortwing averages 12 cm (4.7 in). The largest thrush is Blue Whistling-thrush, at 178 g (6.3 oz) and 33 cm (13 in). The Great Thrush is similar in length but less heavily built.[2] Most species are grey or brown in colour, often with speckled underparts.

They are insectivorous, but most species also eat worms, land snails, and fruit. Many species are permanently resident in warm climes, while others migrate to higher latitudes during summer, often over considerable distances.[3]

Thrushes build cup-shaped nests, sometimes lining them with mud. They lay two to five speckled eggs, sometimes laying two or more clutches per year. Both parents help in raising the young.[3]

The songs of some species, including members of the genera Catharus, Myadestes, and Turdus, are considered to be among the most beautiful in the avian world.[4][5]

Ecology

Turdidae species spread the seeds of plant species, contributing to the spread of many species and the recovery of ecosystems. Plants have limited seed dispersal mobility away from the parent plant and consequently rely upon a variety of dispersal vectors to transport their propagules, including both abiotic and biotic vectors. Seeds can be dispersed away from the parent plant individually or collectively, as well as dispersed in both space and time. Many bats and birds rely heavily on fruit for their diet, some birds include members of the families Cotingidae, Columbidae, Trogonidae, Turdidae, and Rhamphastidae, they swallow seeds, then regurgitate them or pass them in their faeces. Such ornithochory has been a major mechanism of seed dispersal across ocean barriers. Other seeds may stick to the feet or feathers of birds, and in this way may travel long distances. Seeds of grasses, spores of algae, and the eggs of molluscs and other invertebrates commonly establish in remote areas after long journeys of such types. The Turdidae group have a great ecological importance because some populations migrate long distances and they disperse the seeds of many endangered species into the swallow berries at new sites helping to eliminate inbreeding and increasing the genetic diversity of plant species.

Taxonomy

The taxonomic treatment of this large family has varied significantly in recent years. Traditionally, the Turdidae included the small Old World species, like the Nightingale and European Robin in the subfamily Saxicolini, but most authorities now place this group in the Old World flycatcher family Muscicapidae.

This article follows the Handbook of the Birds of the World with edits from Clement and Hathaway, Thrushes (2000), and retains the large thrushes in Turdidae. Recent biochemical studies place certain traditional thrush genera (Monticola, Pseudocossyphus, Myiophonus, Brachypteryx, and Alethe) in the Muscicapidae. Conversely the Asian saxicoline genera Grandala and Cochoa belong here among the thrushes.

Genera

FAMILY: TURDIDAE


Now in Muscicapidae:


Now usually considered a distinct family distantly related to Picathartes:

  • Genus Chaetops: rock-jumpers (2 species)

For other species previously in Turdidae, see Muscicapidae and chats.

References

  1. ^ John H. Boyd III (December 14, 2011). "MUSCICAPOIDEA II: Cinclidae, Turdidae, and Muscicapidae". TiF Checklist. Retrieved 22-11-2019.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  2. ^ Thrushes by Peter Clement. Princeton University Press (2001), ISBN 978-0-691-08852-5.
  3. ^ a b Perrins, C. (1991). Forshaw, Joseph, ed. Encyclopaedia of Animals: Birds. London: Merehurst Press. pp. 186–187. ISBN 1-85391-186-0. 
  4. ^ http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/woodland/msg051859363475.html
  5. ^ http://rogcad.com/hermitthrush/index.htm

External links


Sterna diversity This article is part of Project Bird Families, a All Birds project that aims to write comprehensive articles on each bird family, including made-up families.
Hemipus picatus This article is part of Project Bird Taxonomy, a All Birds project that aims to write comprehensive articles on every order, family and other taxonomic rank related to birds.
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