Groundscraper Thrush

Psophocichla litsitsirupa

The Groundscraper Thrush is a species of open savannas and woodlands, but have also adapted to plantations, orchards, suburbia and sports fields where they easily become quite tame and bold around humans. They feed mainly on insects, worms and other invertebrates, found by scraping away leaf litter or scratching in the grass (hence its English common name). Adults weigh around 76g and grow to a length of about 21cm.

Groundscraper Thrushes are usually encountered in monogamous pairs. They build their bowl-shaped nests in the forks of trees, using a wide variety of plant parts and other soft materials. They breed in spring and summer, with most nesting activity noticed from September to November. Both parents incubate the clutch of 2-4 eggs for around 2 weeks, with the hatchlings leaving the nest about the same length of time after hatching but remaining with their parents for up to 6 weeks more. Parents are extremely protective of their nest and young and will even attack humans venturing too close.

In South Africa the Groundscraper Thrush can be found in Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Gauteng, the North West and parts of the Northern Cape and Free State, while outside of our borders they are distributed northwards to the central DRC and Tanzania. The IUCN considers the Groundscraper Thrush to be of least concern.

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