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Version 1.0

This is a historic version of this account.  Current version


Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush Catharus gracilirostris

César Sánchez-M.
Version: 1.0 — Published March 4, 2009


Distribution in the Americas

The Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush is an endemic species inhabiting only at highland forests of two cordilleras in Costa Rica and western Panama occupying a territory of about 3,800 km² (Birdlife International 2008). In Costa Rica it occurs in the Cordillera Volcánica Central, where populations are found at four volcanoes (Poás, Barva, Irazú, and Turrialba). These populations are geographically isolated from each other by low mountain passes; also, a major valley separates these populations from the ones at the Cordillera de Talamanca which extends into Chiriqui, Panama.

Distribution outside the Americas

Endemic to the Americas.


Throughout its distribution the Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush can be found at a variety of habitats with different degrees of human disturbance, but it always is dependent on the presence of forest. Naturally inhabits damp cold high montane forests and páramo areas. Here it can be found in mature forest, second growth, small patches of forest and thick páramo shrubs. Frequently leaves the forest to enter adjacent open areas such as pastures, roads and trails mainly to search for food.

Historical changes

While no information is available, the populations of the Cordillera Volcánica Central in Costa Rica, probably have suffered major populations shifts in accordance to the volcanic activity, which has been present in some of these volcanoes until now.

Fossil history

No information.

Distribution of the Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush - Range Map
  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush

Recommended Citation

Sánchez-M., C. (2009). Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush (Catharus gracilirostris), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.bbnthr1.01