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White Crested Laughing Thrush

Yesterday, on yet another jaunt to the zoo (memberships are the best!) I happened upon two little birds absolutely making a toddler's day. She would laugh, they would sing back. Over and over. It was pretty cute. Anyway, the birds in question were White Crested Laughing Thrushes, who I confess I have often overlooked on my visits. They share a habitat with the Victoria Crowned Pigeon, and I just love that pudgy turquoise monster.

White Crested Laughing Thrushes are found in south and southeast Asia, and they are incredibly common. They have large white crests, black bars across the eyes, and reddish brown bodies. I am now kicking myself for not recording their call, but to call it laughing would be pretty spot on. This website also has some examples of their interesting music.

Members of the species are very social, and they live in extended family groups that forage together year round. The birds feed on seeds, fruits, and insects, and males and females form strong mated pairs that share incubation and feeding duties.

The population does appear to be on the decline, but not at a rate sufficient enough to be of any major concern.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : Asia
Size : Body length up to 8in (20cm)
Classification :Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Passeriformes
Family : Timaliidae -- Genus : Garrulax -- Species : G. leucolophus

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