Greater and Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush

Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush (Garrulax pectoralis) ©WikiC at San Diego Zoo

“So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. …” (Genesis 2:20a NKJV)

While posting Emma Foster’s latest tale about birds, the Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush (Garrulax pectoralis) was used. I picked this bird because of the “necklaced” part of its name. Where actually do they live and what can we find out about them?

I have always enjoyed the Laughingthrush every since we saw the ones in Zoo Miami’s Aviary.

Red-tailed Laughingthrush by Dan at Wings of Asia Zoo Miami

The Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush doesn’t have much written about it in Wikipedia. Here is their information:

The Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush (Pterorhinus pectoralis) is a species of passerine bird in the family Leiothrichidae. It is found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand and Vietnam. It is introduced to the United States. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest and subtropical or tropical moist montane forest.

This species was formerly placed in the genus Garrulax but following the publication of a comprehensive molecular phylogenetic study in 2018, it was moved to the resurrected genus Pterorhinus.

Greater necklaced laughingthrush, Garrulax pectoralis (formerly; Ianthocincla pectoralis ), also known as the necklaced laughingthrush or the black-gorgeted laughingthrush, photographed at Hong Kong, China.

Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush (Garrulax pectoralis) ©WikiC

The Handbook of Birds of the World gives us a few more facts:

Size is – 26·5–34·5 cm; 105–170 g. Very like G. monileger, but larger, eye dark, necklace often bolder, dark primary coverts. Nominate race has crown…

Voice – Apparent song types include repeated, clear, ringing, slightly descending and diminishing sequence…

Diet – Mostly insects; also some fruits. In Hong Kong study, of ten faecal samples Aug–May, seven contained insects, and all contained fruit…
Breeding – Feb–Aug; multi-brooded. Nest a large, broad, bulky, rather shallow cup or saucer, made of dead bamboo or other leaves, roots, moss,…

Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush (Garrulax pectoralis) ©WikiC

Here is how The Guardian describes this bird:

An adult Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush, (Garrulax pectoralis). This species can be identified by the silvery streaked ear coverts encircled by a black band. This distinguishes it from the similarly-appearing Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush (but that species is pale and has none of the ear covert markings).

The Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush is a member of a large family of passerines known as the the Old World babblers (Timaliidae). This family is quite diverse in size and coloration, but are characterised by soft fluffy plumage — a really lame way to classify them, in my opinion, since there’s a LOT of passerines with “soft fluffy plumage” that are not included in this taxonomic family. Ho-hum.

One weird fact: the American wrentit was recently placed into the Old World babblers but that enigmatic species probably doesn’t belong there.

Another weird fact: there are two groups of birds in the world that are known as “babblers”: the timaliids are one and the other is the (unrelated) Australasian babblers of the family, Pomatostomidae. The pomatostomids are now sometimes known as the pseudo-babblers, because they deceived naturalists, ornithologists and birders for so bloody long.

From the The Guardian.com

Video of the Greater Necklaced Laughingthrushes of Bann Song Nok, south of Bangkok. By Wazooland

Okay, so what about these Lesser Necklaced? They look so similar that you really need to look hard to distinguish them. Look real close, and then notice the color of the eyes. Which is which? Lesser has a yellow eye and the greater has a black eye. Oh, and the “necklace” is supposed to be narrower. It is hard to tell that. The “ear covert markings” help, but those eyes are the clincher!

Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush (Garrulax monileger) ©WikiC

Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush (Garrulax …) ©WikiC

Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush (Garrulax …) ©WikiC

“They came, both men and women, as many as had a willing heart, and brought earrings and nose rings, rings and necklaces, all jewelry of gold, that is, every man who made an offering of gold to the LORD.” (Exodus 35:22 NKJV)

Leiothrichidae – Laughingthrushes & allies

Timaliidae – Babblers, Scimitar Babblers

Wordless Woodpecker