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Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush - BirdForum Opus

Catharus frantzii
Photo by the late Jim Wood
Savegre Lodge in the Highlands of Costa Rica


15 -18 cm. Olive-brown upperparts, rufous crown and nape, pale gray underparts, becoming whitish on the belly, and orange lower mandible. The juvenile is darker faced, has pale centres to the upperpart feathers, brownish flanks and breast, and dark barring or spots on the belly.

Similar species

Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush has all dark bill, has brown breast band, and has at least part of the crown grey. Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush has both bill and legs pink to orange.


Mexico to western Panama.


Seven subspecies are recognized.[1]

  • C. f. frantzii -- Mountains of w Jalisco to c Michoacán, c México and Morelos
  • C. f. confusus -- Mts. of se San Luis Potosí to ne Hidalgo, ne Puebla and n Oaxaca
  • C. f. nelsoni -- Mountains of s Mexico (sw Guerrero to se Oaxaca)
  • C. f. chiapensis -- Mountains of s Mexico (central Chiapas)
  • C. f. juancitonis -- Mountains of s Mexico (s Chiapas) to Guatemala and Honduras
  • C. f. waldroni -- Mountains of n Nicaragua
  • C. f. wetmorei -- Mountains of Costa Rica and w Panama (Chiriquí)


The undergrowth of wet mountain oak and conifer forests.


It builds a bulky lined cup shaped nest in dense undergrowth or a thicket, often near water. 2 brown-blotched greyish or greenish-blue eggs are laid and incubated by the female for 15-16 days. The young are fed by both parents for 14-16 days more to fledgling.

Feeds on or near the ground. The diet includes insects and spiders, and small fruits.


  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/

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.1