Three Rare Laughing Thrushes Recorded in Eastern Nagaland, May 2010

by Ramki Sreenivasan
Rare laughing thrushes
Ramki Sreenivasan
Moustached [Ashy] Laughing Thrush (L) and Yellow-throated Laughing Thrush.

Bird enthusiasts Shashank Dalvi and Ramki Sreenivasan made a 4-day visit to the Fakim / Saramati areas of Nagaland between 18-22 May 2010 near the Myanmar border. They were thrilled to sight, photograph and sound record three poorly known laughing thrushes. Some quick notes on these birds:

  • Moustached [Ashy] Laughing Thrush— What was interesting about the Ashy was its atypical laughing thrush behavior. It preferred pine branches in addition to the usual thick undergrowth in the degraded slopes.
  • Spot-breasted Laughing Thrush — The last confirmed reporting was a dead bird from Changlang district in Arunachal Pradesh by Tanmay Ghosh in 2007.
  • Yellow-throated Laughing Thrush — this got recently split from the Chinese Blue-crowned Laughing Thrush. No known confirmed sightings from India or nearby. The birds photographed had a striking white vent (some guides show yellow) and a blue patch behind the eye.

They are trying to use these significant sightings to persuade the Nagaland govt. to reassess the serious hunting and ‘slash-and-burn’ situation in Nagaland.

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