Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush

Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush  Garrulax erythrocephalus


  • Garrulax : Latin word garrulous –babbling, chattering; ax – inclining towards
  • Erythrocephalus: Greek word eruthrosred ; kephalos-headed

Distribution in India: Resident of Himalayasin India.

Description: Size of 26-28 cm.It is a medium-sized, olive-grey laughingthrush with chestnut crown, black throat, heavy black scaling on mantle and light black scaling on breast and golden-olive wing fringing. The nominate race has chestnut crown and nape with indistinct pale shaft streaks. The mantle and neck side is olive-grey with bold black semi-circular markings. Theback, rump and tail are plain olive-grey. The greater upperwing-coverts are broadly tipped chestnut, rufous patch at base of outer secondaries, silvery-yellowish fringes on outer primaries .The lores are blackish, and ear-coverts are pale chestnut with blackish streaks and very narrow pale scaling. The submoustachial area, chin and throat are blackish; underparts are buffy olive-grey and have a slight rufous stain on central upper breast. It has sparse and irregular small blackish semi-circles on breast and upper flanks, lower flanks and vent is darker, dirtier olive-grey. The iris is grey or greyish-hazel to dark greyish-brown, sometimes pale yellow. The bill is blackish-brown to black and legs brownish-flesh to horn-brown. Both the sexes are similar.

Habitat: It is found in understorey, dense undergrowth and bamboo in broadleaf evergreen, pine and mixed forests, dwarf rhododendron, brambles and barberry scrub in gulleys and bordering cultivation,also scrub and grass near forest. It is found from 1100 up to 3500 m.

Food habits: It eats Insects, including beetles, flies and antsand their larvae and pupae, snails, leeches. It also eats berries, seeds, laurel flowers and other vegetable matter. It eats mostly animal matter in spring and summer and vegetable matter in winter.It is y found in small groups  in company with other laughingthrushes. It forages in low cover or on ground, where it digs and rummages among leaf litter; sometimes at medium heights in lichen-covered and moss-covered trees, less often high up in trees. It is shy, but confiding near human habitation.

Breeding habits: They breed in Apr–Oct. The nest is  a substantial, neat, deep cup, made of dead leaves, dry grasses, fern fronds, fine twigs, creepers, herb stems, moss, and clubmoss sprays, lined scantily with moss roots, rootlets and fine grasses, placed above ground in bush or shrub, in fork of sapling or on tree branch. They lay a clutch of 2–4 eggs. The nest is parasitized by Jacobin Cuckoo and hawk-cuckoos. .