Ornithological Note 311

Notes on the vocalizations of African Thrush (Turdus pelios)

Peter F. D. Boesman July 28, 2016
Section(s): Voice, Systematics

In the following we briefly analyze and compare voice of the different races of African Thrush (Turdus pelios). We also try to quantify the extent of any vocal differences using the criteria proposed by Tobias et al. (2010), as a support for taxonomic review. We have made use of sound recordings available on-line from Xeno Canto (XC).

Song is a rather continuous series of notes and short phrases, often repeated several times before switching to a different one. Some examples of song per race (illustrated with multiple sonograms in the pdf version of this note):

chiguancoides​: Gambia, Burkina Faso and Liberia.

saturatus​: Ghana, Cameroon.

centralis​: Uganda, W Kenya.

Given the variability within races (including mimicry), there are apparently no obvious differences among races. Basic sound parameters such as pace, frequency range, number of repetitions, note length and shape etc. are all rather similar.

This note was finalized on 20th April 2016, using sound recordings available on-line at that moment. We would like to thank in particular the sound recordists who placed their recordings for this species on XC: Giovanni Boano, James Bradley, Josh ENgel, Phil Gregory, Ole Jacobsen, David Moyer, Mike Nelson, Bram Piot and Martin St-Michel.



Tobias, J.A., Seddon, N., Spottiswoode, C.N., Pilgrim, J.D., Fishpool, L.D.C. & Collar, N.J. (2010). Quantitative criteria for species delimitation. Ibis 152(4): 724–746.

More Information: on311_african_thrush.pdf 

Recommended Citation

Boesman, P. (2016). Notes on the vocalizations of African Thrush (Turdus pelios). HBW Alive Ornithological Note 311. In: Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow-on.100311