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File:Myophonus insularis.jpg
Formosan Whistling-thrush
Myophonus insularis
Scientific classification e
Unrecognized taxon (fix): Myophonus

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The whistling-thrushes comprise a genus Myophonus (Myiophoneus[1]) of the Old World flycatcher family Muscicapidae.

They are all medium-sized mostly insectivorous or omnivorous birds. They are all brightly coloured species found in India and southeast Asia. The male is usually blue, and the females are either similar to the male or brown.

The brighter blue patches found on the shoulders and sometimes the head, of whistling thrushes, uniquely for a passerine, reflect strongly in the ultraviolet.[2]

Many of the species are confined to single islands or countries.


Javan, Bornean and Chestnut-winged were formerly lumped as Sunda Whistling-Thrush, but split by Collar (2004).


Whistling-thrushes are mostly seen in hilly areas except during winter when they may descend to streams near the plains. They specialize in feeding on snails and their strong hooked bills are used to deal with them. They may choose a particular rock on which they crack the shells.[3]

The nests are usually in crevices of rocks and boulders close to water. The cup nests have moss and twigs and is lined with roots and leaves. The eggs are usually three and sometimes four, elongate with a gray ground colour and marked with speckles.[3]


  1. ^ Delacour 1942 (Auk 146-264) writes "the proper spelling is Myiophoneus Temminck and Laugier, 1822 Myophonus T. and L., 1822 is an orthographic error, as well as Myophoneus in their tables, x859, while Myiophonus Agassiz, 1846, is an unnecessary emendation."
  2. ^ Staffan Andersson (1996). "Bright Ultraviolet Colouration in the Asian Whistling-Thrushes (Myiophonus spp.)". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 263 (1372): 843–848. doi:10.1098/rspb.1996.0124. 
  3. ^ a b Delacour 1942


  • Thrushes by Clement and Hathaway, ISBN 0-7136-3940-7
  • Collar, N. J. (2004). "Species limits in some Indonesian thrushes". Forktail. 20: 71–87. 
  • Delacour, J. (1942). "THE WHISTLING THRUSHES (GENUS Myiophoneus)". Auk. 59: 246–264. 

Eurasian Spoonbill This article is part of Project Bird Genera, a All Birds project that aims to write comprehensive articles on each genus, including made-up genera.
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