Bassian Thrush

Did you know?

If a Bassian Thrush is disturbed it often runs a short distance and then freezes, relying for defence on the camouflage of its mottled plumage against the leaf-litter of the forest floor.

The Bassian Thrush can be heard mainly at dawn or in dull weather, its song being three notes: the first steady, the second rising briefly, and the third steady.
Facts and Figures
Research Species: 
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Breeding season: 
June to February, also recorded in April
Clutch Size: 
Two to three.
14 days
Nestling Period: 
14 days
Basic Information
Scientific Name: 
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What does it look like?

The Bassian Thrush is a secretive bird. Its plumage is mottled brown to olive-brown, heavily scalloped with black crescent-shaped bars on the back, rump and head. The paler underparts all have brown-black scalloping. It has a white eye-ring. In flight the Bassian Thrush shows a broad dark diagonal bar across the white underside of its wing. This species has also been referred to as White's Thrush, Ground Thrush, and Scaly Thrush.

Similar species: 

The Bassian Thrush is very similar to the Russet-tailed Thrush, Z. heinei. The latter has slightly brighter rufous upper parts. The tail of the Bassian Thrush is slightly longer.

Where does it live?

The Bassian Thrush is found predominantly around the south-east of Australia, and also in the Atherton Tablelands, Queensland.


Damp, densely forested areas and gullies are favoured by the Bassian Thrush, usually with a thick canopy overhead and leaf-litter below.

Seasonal movements: 

Resident, probably sedentary.

What does it do?

The Bassian Thrush feeds on the ground, scratching under the leaf-litter for small invertebrates.


The Bassian Thrush builds a large, deep, cup-shaped nest in a major tree fork or in a depression on top of a stump. The nest may be quite low or up to about 15 m above the ground. Both parents care for the young.

Living with us

The Bassian Thrush is adversely affected by clearing of densely vegetated habitats.

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