Blue Whistling-thrush

posted in: Species, Videography, Vocalisation | 0
The bird as seen in low light.

“A number of Blue Whistling Thrush (Myophonus caeruleus dichrorhynchus) are present at the numerous cave temples scattered around the city, where some have become somewhat accustomed to people and allow a closer approach.


“I heard this bird making the classical, very sharp whistles and followed it around for a while observing behaviour and calls. I could not account for the reason for the calls as there were no other birds or threats, apart from me, nearby. I suspect these loud calls are used as contact calls between nesting mates. The calls are made every 5-8 seconds but can be much more infrequent (data from 4 recordings). The individual whistle lasts ~0.7 seconds and has an amazing ‘L-shaped’ sonogram in 4-5 layers (above) suggesting the calls start at a higher frequency and then level off.

The bird as seen in good light.

“During the calls the bird may adopt a posture of head bent down and tail lifted up; but this does not always happen. An edited recording of some calls is available HERE.

“I attempted some handled videos, using limestone outcroppings and rocks to hold the long lens. They show the bird calling and also interacting with me – see below.

The bird can look very different in various lighting situations. The image (at the top of the page) shows it in low light – dark blue-black plumage. In good light (below) the bird can be seen to be moulting extensively and there is much grey-brown in the plumage.

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
20th March 2019

Location: Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Limestone outcroppings at outskirts of the city with secondary growth

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