The Pied Thrush (Zoothera wardii) is an Asian thrush, a genus within the large thrush family Turdidae.
It breeds in the Himalayas. The Pied Thrush is entirely migratory, wintering mainly in Sri Lanka, with smaller numbers in south India.
This uncommon species breeds in the Himalayas between 1500 and 2500m in thick woodland. The wintering areas are similar but include less well-wooded areas, and are generally at 750 to 1500m altitude. The Pied Thrush, like many Zoothera thrushes, can be quite secretive, especially when breeding.
Perhaps the best place to see this difficult species is Victoria Park in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka, where a number of birds gather by the stream early in the morning.
Pied Thrushes are omnivorous, but eat insects than fruit. They feed on the ground and are generally solitary, although they will form loose flocks in winter.
Males of this 22cm thrush are stunning birds, black above with a long white supercilium, and white tips to the wing coverts, tertials, rump and tail. The underparts are white with black flank spots.the bill and legs are yellow. The song is a bulbul-like warble.
Females and young birds have the same basic pattern, but the black is replaced by dark brown, and the white by light brown. The underparts are scalier.
The neat deep cup nests are lined with grass and placed in a tree fork. 3-4 white or bluish eggs are laid.
- Birds of India by Grimmett, Inskipp and Inskipp, ISBN 0-691-04910-6
- Thrushes by Clement and Hathaway, ISBN 0-7136-3940-7