Orange-headed Thrush – migrant races

posted in: birds, Migration-Migrants | 0

Post 1.

There are two migrant races of Orange-headed Thrush (Geokichla citrina) to Peninsular Malaysia.

HBW (2020) says G. c. innotata and G. c. gibsonhilli.

Wells (2007) says G. c. innotata and G. c. citrina (including gibsonhilli,).

  1. G. c. innotata is said to be “richer orange with no white wing-bar” (Wells 2007, HBW 2020). G. c. citrina and gibsonhilli have a white wing-bar. G. c. gibsonhilli is said to be heavier-billed than the nominate.

How much of a white wing bar is sufficient to call it G. c. citrina/gibsonhilli as opposed to G. c. innotata? In addition there is the issue of first year birds and moulting.


Post 2.

Post 1 is of a bird I am certain is G. c. innotata. It has no white in the wing (no white wing bar); I have a number of images in different view to be sure of this.

Post 2 & 3 are of different birds, in different lighting, that have some degree of a white wing-bar but not as strong as expected. Do we call these birds G. c. citrina/gibsonhilli?

Wells (2007) states that intergrades are “quite common”. So I guess we should call these G. c. gibsonhilli-innotata intergrades.

Post 3.

Post 4 is the same bird as in Post 2 (an intergrade).

Note that one site states that “Subspecies gibsonhilli looks similar but has white median covert tips (wingbar) and blackish line across eyes and behind ear-coverts”. But I cannot find this in other text. (

Post 4.

Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr) – Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Location: Taiping, Perak, Malaysia

Habitat: Primary jungle at foothills

Date: 14th February 2020

Equipment: Equipment: Nikon D500 SLR with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR, handheld with Rode VideoMic Pro Plus Shotgun Microphone


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Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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