Black-headed Nightingale-Thrush Catharus mexicanus

  • © Adrian Arroyo

A rather distinctively-plumage Catharus thrush of Middle America, where it ranges from east central Mexico south to western Panama, the Black-headed Nightingale-Thrush is easily distinguished within its range by the black crown, pale grayish-brown underparts, and bright orange bill and legs. The four subspecies differ principally in the relative intensity of the upper- and underparts coloration. Like most nightingale-thrushes, the Black-headed Nightingale-Thrush is most likely to be initially detected by virtue of the male’s thin, flute-like song, as this species is otherwise easily overlooked within the dark undergrowth of the highland forests it inhabits. Some move much lower, even down to sea level, in the non-breeding season. The species forages on or near the ground, sometimes visiting roadsides close to daybreak or at dusk, taking invertebrates and fruit.

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© David L. Ross, Jr.

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Black-headed Nightingale-Thrush (Catharus mexicanus), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: