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Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Bjorn Svensson.
Costa Rica, February 2005
This image probably is too dark
Catharus gracilirostris


Length 13.5 to 16 cm; weight 21 g

  • Olive- brown upperparts
  • Gray crown
  • Pale gray underparts, becoming whitish on the belly
  • Brownish breast band
  • Black bill

Juvenile: darker head and underparts, brown breast band, brown marks on the belly

Similar species

Other Nightingale-Thrushes which do not show the brown breast band separating grey throat and belly, and Wrenthrush which lack the breast band and has a rufous crown stripe.


Photo by Pablo Siles.
Costa Rica, March 2010
This image is probably too reddish in the brown. The truth is somewhere between the this image and the one by Bjorn Svensson

Costa Rica and western Panama (Chiriqui province).



  • C. g. gracilirostris:
  • C. g. accentor: more rufous upperparts and paler underparts than the nominate race
  • Humid montane forests of western Panama

A third subspecies bensoni is not recognised by all authorities[2]


It is found in the undergrowth of wet mountain oak forests and second growth, usually above 1350 m to patches of shrubbery beyond the tree line.


A rather tame and confiding species.


Feeds amongst vegetation on the forest floor. Typically thrush-like (hopping and darting and listening), turning leaves over. Usually alone but sometimes in pairs. Diet consists of insects, spiders and small fruits.


Two brown eggs, with greeny-blue blotches, are laid in a bulky nest, usually in a small tree.


Three flute-like tones followed by a jumbled trill, and the call is a high thin seet.


  1. Clements, JF. 2009. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2009. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. Avibase
  3. Wikipedia

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