Synonyms: Turdus amaurochalinus CABANIS 1850;
Figure 1. Male Creamy-bellied Thrush. The photo was taken early in the morning, in poor light, with exposure time 1/99 sec, f/2.8, ISO 800.
The bill is yellow, with a dusky tip, and lores and area around the eye are black. The throat is white, streaked blackish (Ridgely and Tudor 1989).
The individual on the photo above has a white patch immediately below the streaked part of the throat. As far as I can tell, this white patch is characteristic of the resident population. Such a patch is not apparent in the figures of Ridgely and Tudor 1989 (plate 6, fig. 3) or Sick 1997, plate 37, and is also absent in the photo by Develey and Endrigo 2004, page 217. On the other hand, a white patch at the base of the throat is mentioned by Dunning 1982, and Meyer de Schauensee 1970. A narrow white stripe can be seen in the new Ridgely and Tudor 2009, plate 82/4.
Because of the white patch, there is a possibility to confuse the immature or female, which have a dark bill (fig. 2), with Turdus albicollis.
At the beginning of the rainy season, the loud song of this species can be heard in many areas of Mãe-da-lua reserve. It seems that the birds breed here, and that the breeding period starts with the onset of the annual rains (normally around january). Ridgely and Tudor 1989 were uncertain whether the breeding range of the species extends as far as northeastern Brazil.
According to Sick 1997, the yellow color of the bill of the male is an indicator of breeding mode. Here, male birds with a yellow bill can still be seen in July, when the breeding season is over. I am not certain about the remainder of the year.To top of page
Figure 2. Immature or female Creamy-bellied Thrush. Photo taken at dawn, in dim light; exposure 1/150 sec., f/4.5, ISO 800.
In Mãe-da-lua reserve, in July 2008, I saw a flock of about 10 thrushes, which moved slowly through the bush, constantly emitting soft "ui"-calls to keep in touch. The individuals I could see well enough, had blackish bills, and were similar to the bird of the photo. Possibly, these were subadult Creamy-bellied Thrushes. Initially, I erronously identified them as T. albicollis, because of the white area below the throat. However, this latter species has a distinctive yellow eye-ring, gray lores, and prefers a more humid habitat.To top of page