Abyssinian thrush

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Abyssinian thrush
Abyssinian Thrush (Turdus abyssinicus) (16341647185).jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Turdidae
Genus: Turdus
Species: T. abyssinicus
Binomial name
Turdus abyssinicus
JF Gmelin (1789)[2]

Turdus olivaceus abyssinicus

The Abyssinian thrush, African mountain thrush or Northern olive thrush (Turdus abyssinicus) is a passerine bird in the family Turdidae. In 2010, the species was confirmed as separate from the olive thrush (Turdus olivaceus) due to genetic differences.[3] Their ranges do not overlap. The southern and northern populations may be distinct species. The Abyssinian thrush is found in Eritrea and other parts of the Horn of Africa, as well as an area to the southeast extending from the African Great Lakes region to north eastern Zambia and Malawi.[4]


It is 22 centimetres (8.7 in) long. This variable forest thrush is generally darker than the African thrush and has an orange (not yellow) bill. It is also darker than the Kurrichane thrush and has no malar stripes. Generally the birds get darker at higher altitudes.[4]

Distribution, habitat and habits[edit]

The Abyssinian thrush occurs in the highlands of eastern Africa from South Sudan south to northern Mozambique.[5]

Its habitat includes forests woodlands, exotic plantations, parks and gardens.[5]

This species is a typical member of the genus Turdus but its habits and biology have been little studied, as it was considered to be a subspecies of olive thrush.[6]


The Abyssinian thrush was considered to be part of the olive thrush but that species has now been split and is regarded as a superspecies, members of which include the Taita thrush, Karoo thrush, Usambara thrush and Somali thrush.[7]

Under the split the following subspecies have been recognised as being within the Abyssinian thrush:[2][8]


  1. ^ BirdLife International. 2016. Turdus abyssinicus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22734111A104354152. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22734111A104354152.en. Downloaded on 27 December 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Turdus abyssinicus Gmelin, 1789". Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) (https://www.itis.gov). Archived from the original on 2016-11-07. Retrieved 2016-11-06. 
  3. ^ "IOC World Bird Name (version 2.4)". 2010. Archived from the original on 24 March 2010. Retrieved 9 April 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Sinclair & Ryan 2003, p. 440
  5. ^ a b "Abyssinian Thrush". Birdforum Opus. = Birdforum.net. Archived from the original on 2016-11-07. Retrieved 2016-11-06. 
  6. ^ Clement, Peter; Hathway, Ren; Byers, Clive; Wiczur, Jan (2000). Thrushes. Christopher Helm. pp. 333–337. ISBN 0713639407. 
  7. ^ "Olive Thrush (Turdus olivaceus) is being split: list T. roehli as Near Threatened or Vulnerable?". BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums. Birdlife International. Retrieved 2016-11-06. 
  8. ^ "Abyssinian Thrush Turdus abyssinicus Gmelin, JF, 1789". Avibase. Denis Lepage. Archived from the original on 2016-04-10. Retrieved 2016-11-06. 

Works cited[edit]

  • Sinclair, Ian; Ryan, Peter (2003). Birds of Africa south of the Sahara. Cape Town: Struik.