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Groundscraper Thrush - BirdForum Opus

T. l. pauciguttata
Photo © by Max Holdt
Windhoek, Namibia, January 2005
Turdus litsipsirupa

Psophocichla litsipsirupa


Length 22-24 cm (8½-9½ in); mass 71-84 g. A thrush of open habitats with an upright stance and shortish tail.

Upper parts pale grey-brown; bold black-and-white face markings; underparts white or off-white with distinct black teardrop spots.

Similar species

The Spotted Ground-Thrush differs in being a forest thrush with two bold wing-bars, a longer tail and a more horizontal stance. The Song Thrush also has a longer tail and a more horizontal stance, and has brown ear-coverts.


Southern and eastern Africa
Western Africa: Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola
Eastern Africa: Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi
Southern Africa: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal, eSwatini


Ethiopian Thrush was formerly included in this species. It has formerly been included in genus Psophocichla.


Clements recognizes three subspecies[1].

  • T. l. litsipsirupa
  • T. l. pauciguttata
  • T. l. stierlingi


Open woodland, savanna and montane grassland.


Forages on the ground in short grass, burnt grass or on bare soil; eats invertebrates.


Monogamous; co-operative breeding recorded. The nest is a cup of plant material built in a tree, 2-9 m above the ground. Two to four eggs are laid and incubated for 14-15 days by both sexes. Parasitised by African Cuckoo.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2022. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2022. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F, D Donsker, and P Rasmussen (Eds). 2023. IOC World Bird List (v 13.2). Doi 10.14344/IOC.ML.13.2. http://www.worldbirdnames.org/
  3. Hockey, PAR, WRJ Dean, and PG Ryan, eds. 2005. Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa. 7th ed. Cape Town: John Voelcker Bird Book Fund. ISBN 978-0620340533
  4. Sinclair, I and P Ryan. 2003. Birds of Africa South of the Sahara. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0691118154

Recommended Citation

External Links

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