Plain-backed Thrush       Zoothera mollissima


  • Zoothera : Greek word zoon animal; theras –hunter
  • Mollissima: Latin word for Very soft derived from mollis-

Distribution in India: Resident of Himalayas and North East India.

 Description: Size of 25–27 cm; wt. of 80–112 g. The adult is plain warm olive-brown above from crown to tail, with whitish eyering, and buffy face marked dark below eye, on rear ear-coverts and on malar. It is buffy-white below, with dense black crescents from lower throat to lower belly, undertail-coverts clearly patterned with brown and whitish. The iris is very dark brown; bill is dark, with paler mandible; legs are flesh-coloured. Both the sexes are similar. The immature is duller, with buffy shaft streaks from nape to scapulars, buffier on breast and neck.

 Habitat: It breeds in shady damp areas in alpine meadows, boulder-strewn grassy slopes with treeline shrubbery of oak, rhododendron and conifers. In breeding season it is found at 3000–4500 m. In non-breeding season it is found in open bushy country, cultivations, valleys and forest down to 1300 m.

 Food Habits: It eats Insects, snails, leeches, berries and seeds. It forages on ground in shade. It turns over leaves and rotting vegetation and probes in earth.

Breeding habits:  They breed in Apr–Jul in Himalayas. The nest is a large cup of vegetation, including moss, lined with fine fibres, placed on or near ground among tree roots or on rock ledge. They lay a clutch of 3-4 eggs.