Malabar Whistling Thrush

Malabar Whistling Thrush  Myophonus  horsfieldii


  • Myophonus : Greek word muia- fly; phoneus – slayer
  • Horsfieldii: Ornithologist Dr Thomas Horsfield (1773–1859) US naturalist 

Vernacular Names:  Hindi: Bhangraj, Sans: Shree kasturika, M.P: Bhangraj, Ass: Dhapolika, Guj: Kasturo, Indraraj, Mar: Shilkarikastur, Gogi, Ta: Sikaram, Malabar ShilKastur, Te: Singalakarewe, Kasturipakshi, Mal: Chulakakka, Kan: Gunta-ukkee, Silluhakuva thrush

Distribution in India: Resident of hills in Central, West and South India.

Description: Size of 20-21 cm.The male has matt black upper body, with metallic, bright royal-blue forehead-band, and glossy royal-blue scaling on back, scapulars and mid-breast to belly, royal-blue edges of wings with stronger shoulder patch, deeper bluish rump and tail; bill and legs black. The female is similar, but with weaker scaling below. The juvenile is matt black, with glossy blue shoulder patch and wing edgings.

Habitat: It is found in margins, beds and adjacent ground of rocky hill streams and rivers flowing through forest, second growth and plantation. It is found from foothills to 2200 m.

Food habits: It eats aquatic insects, snails and crabs. It forages on ground, but perches readily in trees.

Breeding habits: They breed in Feb–Aug. The nest is a large compact pad of roots and grasses, reinforced with mud, placed usually on shelf or ledge of rock by cascading water, occasionally in artificial site or in tree. They lay a clutch of 3–4 eggs. The incubation period is 16–17 days.