Groundscraper thrush

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Groundscraper thrush
Psophocichla litsitsirupa (Etosha).jpg
From Etosha National Park
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Turdidae
Genus: Psophocichla
Cabanis, 1860
P. litsitsirupa
Binomial name
Psophocichla litsitsirupa
(Smith, 1836)

Psophocichla litsipsirupa[2]
Turdus litsitsirupa

The groundscraper thrush (Psophocichla litsitsirupa)[3] is a passerine bird of southern and eastern Africa belonging to the thrush family, Turdidae. It is the only member of the genus Psophocichla.

It is 22–24 centimetres (8.7–9.4 in) long with an erect posture, short tail, heavy bill and fairly long legs. The upperparts are plain grey-brown with a chestnut wing-panel. The underparts are white with black spots and the face is white with bold black markings. The underwing has a black and white pattern which is visible during the undulating flight. The bird has a slow whistled song and a clicking call.

There are four subspecies: P. l. litsitsirupa is the most southerly form, occurring from Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique south to northern and eastern parts of South Africa. P. l. pauciguttata is found in southern Angola, northern Namibia and north-west Botswana while P. l. stierlingae occurs in a band from northern Angola across to western Tanzania, Malawi and north-west Mozambique. The range of P. l. simensis is separated from the others; it inhabits the highlands of Ethiopia and Eritrea. The species is found in savannas, grassland and open woodland. It can be tame and will forage in parks, gardens and around picnic sites.

The cup-shaped nest is built using vegetation and spider-webs and is lined with feathers or leaves. Three or four eggs are laid and are incubated for 14 to 15 days. They are bluish with lilac and red-brown spots and blotches.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Psophocichla litsitsirupa". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2012: e.T22708692A39711989. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2012-1.RLTS.T22708692A39711989.en.
  2. ^ The specific name is often spelt litsipsirupa, however litsitsirupa is the correct spelling (Zoonomen, 2003). The name is of Tswana origin and is imitative of the bird's call.
  3. ^ taxonomy. "Taxonomy browser (Psophocichla litsitsirupa)".
  • Sinclair, Ian & Ryan, Peter (2003) Birds of Africa south of the Sahara, Struik, Cape Town.

External links[edit]