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Dusky Thrush

Turdus naumanni

Length: 9.5 inches Wingspan: 15.25 inches Seasonality: Non-resident in South Dakota
ID Keys: Brown back and wings, dark gray nape and crown, dark face, white supercillium and throat, white unperparts with dark chevon-shaped spots

Dusky Thrush - Turdus naumanniThe Dusky Thrush is primarily an Asian bird, breeding in Siberia and wintering in Southeastern Asia.  They are a rare vagrant in North America, with most records from islands and the coastline of Alaska.  Some classification schemes show two species, Turdus naumanni, "Naumann's Thrush" and Turdus eunomus, "Dusky Thrush" which is found further north than Naumann's Thrush.  The American Birding Association only recognizes one species, named Dusky Thrush with scientific name of Turdus naumanni.  In addition to being vagrants in North America, the species has also on rare occasions been found as far west as Europe.

Habitat: Found in open woodlands, with more northerly populations also adapted to living on the edge of the tundra, including in dwarf willow habitat and scrubby riverine thickets.

Diet: Feeds heavily on insects, worms, snails, and other small invertebrates.  They will also take berries when available.

Behavior: Foraging is done in the same fashion as many other Turdus thrushes.  Dusky Thrush primarily forage on the ground, walking and hopping short distances with periodic pauses as they look for prey. 

Nesting: The nest is a cup of grasses, moss, and twigs, bound together with mud and lined with fine grasses and moss. The female lays between 3 and 6 eggs, and she alone incubates them.  The eggs hatch after about 2 weeks, and both parents help to feed and raise the young.  The young fledge after about 15 days.

Song: Simple whistled song

Migration: Strongly migratory, breeding in Siberia and moving to southeastern Asia for the winter.

Interactive eBird map: Click here to access an interactive eBird map of  Dusky Thrush sightings

Feeders: Dusky Thrush will on occasion attend feeders for offered fruits and nut meal.

Similar Species: Distinctive if seen well.  Potentially confused with the Eyebrowed Thrush, another rare Asian vagrant, but aside from general structure and the prominent white supercillium on both species, plumage differences should be distinctive on well-seen birds.

Conservation Status: Populations are thought to be stable, the species is found over a very broad geographic area, and they are common in parts of their range.  The IUCN lists the Dusky Thrush as a species of "Least Concern".

Further Information: 1) BirdLife International - Dusky Thrush

2) WhatBird - Dusky Thrush

3) NatureWatch - Dusky Thrush

Photo Information: Photo by KazKuro - Photo licensed under Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial NoDerivs 2.0 Generic License


Click below for a higher-resolution map
Dusky Thrush - Range Map
South Dakota Status: Non-resident in South Dakota

Additional Dusky Thrush Photos (coming soon!!)