Unveiling Elegance: The Spotted Nightingale-Thrush, a Bird That’s Both Strikingly Beautiful and Rarely Seen

Unfortunately more often heard than seen, many miss this striking yellow-breasted bird wearing his buff black cap.

Meet the Spotted Nightingale-Thrush

The Spotted nightingale-thrush (Catharus dryas), is a species of bird in the Turdidae family. The male of this species has dull olive-grey upperparts, this includes his wings and his tail. His head is black with an olive-grey mantle separated by a dull yellowish collar. His underparts, including his chin and throat, are buff, finely streaked with grey, while his lower throat, the sides of his neck all the way to his bellow is a pale yellow flecked with dar grey, The lower-belly area and under-tail-coverts are white, and the flanks grey. His head is black, bill red-orange, eyes brown, surrounded by a red-orange eyering. His legs and feet are a bright orange.

Photo Courtesy of Greg Lasley – https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/210002 / CC BY 4.0

Females are similar to the male, however, she has a greyer head and more olive on her back. Juveniles are dark olive-brown upperparts streaked pale buff.

Their heads are streaked with brown and their underparts are dark olive with fine, pale yellow-buff mottling.

This species is found from southern Mexico down to Honduras, and from southern Central America and the Andes to northwestern Argentina.

A shy bird, the Spotted Nightingale-Thrush is found in the cloud forest, in damp ravines, and along forested streams. They are usually found between 1200 to 300 meters in altitude.

These birds forage in the undergrowth look for ants, bees, and various other insects. They will also eat some plant matter as well as berries and fruit.

Breeding seasons for these birds vary depending on where they live. They build a nest that is cup-shaped with twigs and moss, strengthened with mud. It is built 1m/1,50 meters above the ground. It is concealed among dense vegetation, hidden from unwanted eyes. Two blue-white eggs with greyish markings. The eggs are incubated for 12 -15 days, though both parents will feed the chicks when they are hatched. Young will still be with their parents for about four weeks until they are fully fledged.

Though this species has a large range, it is threatened by deforestation, especially in Mexico, reducing suitable breeding areas. Though the population is suspected to be in decline, Spotted Nightingale-thrush is still evaluated of Least Concern.

Watch and listen to this bird right here below:

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