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Grey Shrikethrush - BirdForum Opus

(Redirected from Grey Shrike-Thrush)

Alternative names: Whistling Shrike-thrush; Pale-headed Shrike-thrush, Gray Shrikethrush

Photo © by Pearly_Shells
McLaren Vale, South Australia, June 2004
Colluricincla harmonica


22.5 - 25cm.

  • Grey head
  • White stripe from bill to eye (less so in rufiventris)
  • Light grey eye-ring
  • Brown back, olive-brown in brunnea and dark grey in rufiventris
  • Light grey underparts
  • Grey wings and tail
  • Black bill

Female with white eye-ring, paler underside of bill and with fine streaking on breast. Juveniles with strong streaking.

Photo © by peterday
Aldinga Scrub, South Australia, November 2020


Widespread throughout Australia including Tasmania. Also found in coastal SE New Guinea.
Fairly common and widespread



Five subspecies recognized:

This species has been split up into up to three species with superciliosa (New Guinea Shrike-thrush) and brunnea as Brown or Northern Shrike-thrush, rufiventris as Western Shrike-thrush (or Buff-bellied or South-western) and harmonica as Harmonious Shrike-thrush.


Diverse. At home from the coastal forest to the arid interior.



Omnivorous; forages on tree limbs and on the ground. Feeds mainly on insects, takes also spiders.


Breeding season from July to February in Australia, mainly in October in New Guinea. The nest is s open cup made of bark strips, rootlets, twigs and leaves. It's placed in a fork or tangle of vegetation up to 20m above the ground, usually lower (below 3.5m). Lays 1 - 4 eggs.


Resident species.


Known as a great vocalist, with an eclectic range of calls and songs.

One of many variable calls. C. h. harmonica
Recorded by Azzy Kersbrook Native Forest, April 2010


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9., with updates to August 2014. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2007. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 12: Picathartes to Tits and Chickadees. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553422
  3. Simpson, K and N Day. 1998. Field Guide to the Birds of Australia. London: Christopher Helm. ISBN 0-7136-4877-5

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