Scaly Thrush

The scaly thrush (Zoothera dauma/虎斑地鸫) is a member of the thrush family Turdidae.It breeds in wet coniferous taiga, mainly in the Himalayas through Malaysia .

There are several races which are now often split into a varying number of separate species. Z. aurea (White’s thrush), including the questionable subspecies Z. a. toratugumi, is the migratory Siberian and north-east Asian form. Z. neilgherriensis (Nilgiri thrush) is resident in the hills of southwest India. Z. imbricata (Sri Lanka thrush) is endemic to the hills of Sri Lanka and is particularly distinctive, being smaller, long-billed and rufous below. Z. dauma (scaly thrush) breeds in the Himalaya and migrates to the foothills in winter. Z. d. horsfieldi (Horsfield’s thrush) is resident in Indonesia on the islands of Sumatra, Java, Bali, Lombok and Sumbawa. Z. d. major (Amami thrush) is restricted to the Amami Islands in Japan.

The taxonomy of this group is still in flux. Some of these subspecies are very similar and the identity of some populations, such as those on Taiwan, is uncertain.

The fawn-breasted thrush (Z. machiki) of Indonesia and the Bassian thrush (Z. lunulata) and russet-tailed thrush (Z. heinei) of Australia were also included in Z. dauma in the past.

The scaly thrush is very secretive, preferring dense cover. It nests in trees, laying three or four dull green eggs in a neat cup nest. It is omnivorous, eating a wide range of insects, earthworms and berries.