Dark-sided Thrush    Zoothera marginata 


  • Zoothera : Greek word zoon animal; theras -hunter.
  • Marginata : Latin word for bordered, edged derived from margo- border, edge. 

Distribution: Resident of central Himalayas from East Uttarakhand Eastwards, discontinuously, to West Arunachal Pradesh and South Assam hills; winter visitor at lower altitudes in the Himalayas, including plains of Assam Valley. 

Description : Size of 24–25 cm; wt. of 81 g. It is a long-billed thrush with dark brown head contrasting with rufous-brown wings. It is dark brown  from head to nape with buffy-white lores and eyering, blackish-flecked whitish submoustachial, cheeks and post-auricular mark. It has a whitish chin and throat, rufous-brown on back and tail, and on wings. The breast has dense small greyish-brown scalloping on whitish background, markings becoming larger and looser farther back on underparts, duskier along flanks. The bill is blackish with pale lower mandible. The legs are flesh coloured. Both the sexes are similar. The immature is like adult, but lighter above, with black auricular stripe, orangey shaft streaks and spotted wingbars, pattern below is less definite.

Habitat: It is found in breeding season in broadleaf evergreen forest, edge and bamboo, mainly in damp areas near shaded rocky streams. It is found at 750–2100 m, in Himalayas. It winters at slightly lower from plains to 1900 m in similar habitat, also in dense reeds inside forest.

Food habits:  It eats Invertebrates. It is mainly terrestrial. It forages in damp areas using its bill to dig holes in wet earth and rotting ground vegetation.

Breeding habits: They breed in  May–Aug. The nest is a neat mossy cup, lined with rootlets, placed in tree. They lay a clutch of 3-4 eggs.