Karoo Thrush

Turdus smithi

The Karoo Thrush inhabits arid scrublands and grasslands, preferring the denser vegetation along drainage lines in these otherwise open areas. They’re also one of the most common garden birds all over their range, a fact that has aided an increase in both their range and population. Karoo Thrushes are usually seen singly or in pairs and follow an omnivorous diet, searching on the ground and scrounging through leaf litter for insects, worms, other invertebrates, small vertebrates and fruits and seeds. Adults are about 23cm long and weigh up to 86g.

At the start of the breeding season, which stretches through spring and summer, female Karoo Thrushes build cup-shaped nests of wet grass and other plant material in the forks of trees. They incubate clutches of 1-4 eggs for about two weeks, with the chicks becoming independent about 2-and-a-half months after hatching.

The Karoo Thrush occurs mainly in the central and western parts of South Africa, extending marginally into Lesotho, Botswana and Namibia. The IUCN considers it to be of least concern. It was previously classified as a subspecies of the Olive Thrush, which is generally found in forests.

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18 thoughts on “Karoo Thrush

  1. SoyBend

    Nice pictures and facts about this bird. I have five different thrush species in my yard. Most are “plain” with beautiful songs. The bluebirds, however, have both a beautiful song and color.

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  2. Beth

    Does this little one sing? There is a song thrush, which has repeated musical phrases and is often referred to in poetry. I am trying to remember if this one is also a weather predictor.

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  3. kim blades, writer

    Another bird that is so well camouflaged, matching the colour of its scrubby dry habitat. I get quite a few Kurrichane and Spotted thrushes in my garden. They spend a lot of time pecking and scratching amongst the leaf litter under my numerous trees and shrubs. They are also another bird that nest in my garden.

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