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Bassian Thrush, Zoothera lunulata

Bassian ThrushPhoto copyright Dave Watts


The secretive Bassian Thrush has mottled grey-brown to copper-brown upperparts, with black crescent-shaped edges to the feathers which give the bird a scaly appearance. The scalloped pattern also occurs on the paler underparts. The eye is dark brown with a white eye-ring.

This species is also known as White's Thrush, Ground Thrush and Scaly Thrush.


The Bassian Thrush is found in wet forest, rainforest, and damp gullies. It is usually seen on the forest floor.


Feeding takes place on the forest floor, where the bird scratches under the leaf-litter for worms, small invertebrates and fruit.


The Bassian Thrush builds a large, untidy, cup-shaped nest of shredded bark and grass in a fork in a tree. The nest may be quite low or up to about 15 m above the ground. Both parents care for the young.


It is usually silent, although the male calls in winter with clear descending whistles. (Audio recordings courtesy of David Stewart/Nature Sound


Distribution Map courtesy Natural
Values Atlas, data from theLIST
© 2010 State of Tasmania.
The Bassian Thrush is found in coastal south-east Australia, and also in the Atherton Tablelands, Queensland.

In Tasmania, the species is an uncommon resident in damp, shady forest throughout the island and on the Bass Strait islands.