Peninsular Malaysia has two resident Whistling Thrushes, Blue (Myophonus caeruleus) (above) and Malayan (M. robinsoni). The former has a wide distribution that includes South-central Asia, Southern Tibet, the Himalayas, part of the Indian subcontinent and China, down south to Southeast Asia, up to Sumatra and Java. The Malayan, on the other hand, has a very limited range: confined only to the Main Range from Cameron Highlands south to Genting Highlands (below).
The two species are differentiated by size, the Malayan being, according to Wells (2007), “Roughly 15 percent smaller and proportionately longer – rather than, as often assumed, shorter-tailed than Blue Whistling Thrush…” Also, the Malayan lacks the white spotting on the median wing-coverts, which are not present in the juvenile Blue. The Malayan has blue forehead, which is however, inconspicuous in deep shade.
Few birders have seen the Blue Whistling Thrush and fewer still the Malaysian Whistling Thrush. Ecological information on these birds is scarce and since the discovery of the nesting at Cameron Highlands by Allan Teo, we have made a number of posts on the nesting behaviour: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
KC Tsang & Allan Teo
(Image of Blue Whistling Thrush by KC Tsang and that of Malayan Whistling Thrush by Allan Teo)
Wells, D.R. (2007). The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsular. Vol. II, Passerines. Christopher Helm, London.