Orange-headed Thrush mating behaviour

Madhavi Raj

February 22, 2023

In the first week of February 2023, we visited a coffee estate in the Chikkamagaluru area of Karnataka. Located about half an hour’s drive from the town of Aldur, the estate included 200 acres of wooded coffee plantations bordering a reserve forest.

One morning, while birdwatching, we noticed a strange shape in a distant tree. It appeared to be a bird with its head missing! We shifted our position to get a better view and realised it was a male Orange-Headed Thrush with his head and neck bent down low, wings held to his side. He kept absolutely still and sang with fluty, varied notes. We were quite excited as we had observed the same behaviour the previous March in Chikkamagaluru.

As we watched, a female thrush arrived at a nearby branch. She seemed quite curious about the singing male. He did not move a feather and continued to sing. She hopped closer, and tried different perches around the male, as if to check out the singer from different angles. A little later, another female made an appearance. The male seemed to ignore them and was engrossed in his performance. After half an hour of observing them, we reluctantly left.

The next morning, we were birdwatching in a different part of the estate. And there was our singer again! We don’t know if it was the same individual or another, but the strange bent-head posture was exactly the same! And, by his side, was a female admirer who seemed almost mesmerized. We were delighted to observe this charming yet curious behaviour by the male thrush to woo the female!

To cite this page: 2023. Orange-headed Thrush mating behaviour. Accessed on 2023-03-10.

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