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Turdus plumbeus

Red-legged Thrush

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Turdidae
  • Polytypic 6 Subspecies

Authors: Larsen, Niels

Turdus plumbeus

Sierra de Bahoruco, Dominican Repulblic; 21 April 2012 © Mario Davalos

Red-legged Thrush is a non-migratory Caribbean species found mostly in the Greater Antilles and Bahamas, but also on Dominica, in the Lesser Antilles. It consists of several, well differentiated subspecies, most of which originally were described as full species. Common features are bluish gray upperparts; variegated tail usually with white tail corners; throat with varying amounts of black and white; tarsi that are red or at least orange-yellow; bill usually red (but may be black); and usually a red eye ring. Red-legged Thrush has a tendency to turn its tail somewhat upwards at least part of the time, and likes to walk or run, but will fly away if disturbed. It is found in different forested habitat with some differences in preference among the islands, but tolerates disturbed areas such as partial cutting or second growth. Red-legged Thrush has wide ranging food preferences including fruits and seeds as well as invertebrates and small vertebrates. This adaptability seems to include both adult and nestling food. Nesting season seems to vary geographically, and litter size is usually 2-3. North American observers seeing Red-legged Thrush have been reminded of either American Robin (Turdus migratorius) or Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis).

Recommended Citation

Larsen, Niels. 2011. Red-legged Thrush (Turdus plumbeus), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:

This map is based on the maps available from the NatureServe InfoNatura website. The data for these maps are provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE.

  • Migration/Movement:Resident (nonmigratory)
  • Primary Habitat:Tropical lowland evergreen forest
  • Foraging Strata:Terrestrial/Understory
  • Foraging Behavior:Glean
  • Diet:Omnivorous
  • Sociality:Solitary
  • Mating System:Monogamy
  • Nest Form:Cup
  • Clutch: 2 - 3
  • IUCN Status:Least Concern