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Chiguanco Thrush - BirdForum Opus

T. c. chiguanco
Photo © by BirdsPeru
Chosica, Lima, Peru
Turdus chiguanco


Length 27-28 cm (10¾-11 in), weight 105-110 g: A medium-large thrush

  • Dark sooty or brownish overall plumage
  • Paler underparts
  • Buffy throat streaks
  • Yellow bill and legs
  • Red or chestnut iris

Similar Species

T. c. anthracinus, adult male (black throat, yellow eye ring)
Photo © by UsambiroBarbet
Centro de Visitantes, Peninsula Valdes, Argentina, September 2016

Easily confused with the larger and proportionally longer-tailed Great Thrush. Males of that species have an orange-yellow eye-ring unlike the Chiguanco Thrush of the subspecies T. c. chiguanco and T. c. conradi, but the southern T. c. anthracinus (from Bolivia and southwards) has an orange-yellow eye-ring. The plumage of T. c. anthracinus is darker than the overlapping subspecies of the Great Thrush, but elsewhere the opposite is true.

While typically in different habitats, the Chiguanco Thrush can also be confused with the males of the Pale-eyed Thrush (with whitish eyes) and Glossy-black Thrush (with a glossy deep black plumage).


South America: from north-central Ecuador (where possibly expanding) south along the Andes in Peru, Bolivia, north-eastern Chile and Argentina, where extends south-east towards the Atlantic coast. Common.


T. c. anthracinus, female or immature (pale throat, no yellow eye ring)
Photo © by Fritz73
Cerro Colorado, Cordoba, Argentina, 2000


There are 3 subspecies[1]:

  • T. c. conradi:
  • T. c. chiguanco:
  • Coastal Peru; north-western Bolivia (La Paz)
  • T. c. anthracinus:
  • Western Bolivia to north-eastern Chile (Atacama) and western Argentina, extending to the Atlantic coast in the Valdes Peninsula area in recent years[2]


Subspecies conradi
Photo © by Stanley Jones
San Mataeo, Lima, Peru, August 2017

Agricultural areas. Open woodland and shrubland. Often arid areas. Regular in gardens and parks. Mainly in highlands, but also in lowlands in the southern part of its range.


Typical posture is upright, often with hanging wings and raised tail both of which may be flicked.

Frequently in disturbed areas.


Their diet consists of earthworms, insects, caterpillars, spiders, berries and cultivated tree fruit.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Veiga, J. O. et al. (2010). Expansión del Zorzal Chiguanco (Turdus chiguanco) al norte de la Patagonia Argentina. Nuestras Aves 55: 23-25
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved Sept 2017)

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