Rufous-necked laughingthrush

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Rufous-necked laughingthrush
From Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary in West Bengal, India.
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Leiothrichidae
Genus: Pterorhinus
P. ruficollis
Binomial name
Pterorhinus ruficollis
(Jardine & Selby, 1838)

Ianthocincla ruficollis
Garrulax ruficollis

The rufous-necked laughingthrush (Pterorhinus ruficollis) is a bird species in the laughingthrush family, Leiothrichidae. It is found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar and Nepal, where its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest and subtropical or tropical moist montane forest.[1] Little study was done on this species due to its abundance and lack of interest in its conservation.


The rufous-necked laughingthrush was placed in the genus Dryonastes[2] before being moved to Garrulax. Following the publication of a comprehensive molecular phylogenetic study in 2018, it was moved again to the resurrected genus Pterorhinus.[3][4]


The rufous-necked laughingthrush is actually not a thrush but a species of babbler, it is roughly 22–27 centimetres (8.7–10.6 in) in length and weighs anywhere between 51–73 grams (1.8–2.6 oz).[5] The rufous-necked laughingthrush as its name implies has a rustic color around its neck. overall the bird is grey with a black face and its rufous neck. Due to the fact that they are non migratory birds this means that they molt very slowly which means that they look the same as young birds than as older birds. The rufous-necked laughingthrush looks very similar to a rufous-cheeked laughingthrush yet the regions where both species are found are completely different.[1]

Habitat and Distribution[edit]

The rufous-necked laughingthrush is found in the subtropical or tropical moist forests from Nepal to China extending down into Myanmar.[6] It is a non migratory songbird which means it spends its entire life in the same location or habitat for both reproductive and non reproductive periods. Some populations are found in isolated regions of Nepal likely something that happened during the formation of the mountain ranges in the region. The species is commonly found in all of its native ranges and is considered of least concern by the IUCN redlist.[1]



The vocalization of this laughingthrush is a series of small chirps that ramble in out of order note calls which resemble mocking bird calls that simulate some babbling or laughing as the name describes. Its quick whip calls are easily recognizable especially in larger flocks of feeding groups.


Rufous-necked laughingthrush generally feed on insects but have generalist bills and can feed on seeds molluscs and berries as well.[5] Due to this generalist feeding behavior food sources are not as difficult to come by for these laughingthrushes as they are for specialists.


Rufous-necked laughing thrush have not been studied for their reproduction but it is assumed that they reproduce similarly to other laughing thrushes. Their intelligence makes it difficult for parasitic reproducers like cuckoos to take advantage of them.[7] Their egg recognition is very good and therefore can remove intrusive eggs that don't resemble theirs at all. In terms of mating rufous-necked laughingthrushes tend to are sexually dimorphic in size and it may be linked to the female choice of individuals with the best territorial defense and therefore size was probably selected over time.[8] They breed from March to August, creating small cup nests that are compact and made of leaves and grasses.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d BirdLife International. (2018). "Garrulax ruficollis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2018: e.T22715636A131971426. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T22715636A131971426.en. Retrieved 8 April 2022.
  2. ^ Baker, Edward Charles Stuart; Oates, Eugene William; Blandford, William Thomas (1922). The Fauna of British India: including Ceylon and Burma, Volume 2, Part 1. London, UK: Taylor and Francis. p. 139.
  3. ^ Cibois, A.; Gelang, M.; Alström, P.; Pasquet, E.; Fjeldså, J.; Ericson, P.G.P.; Olsson, U. (2018). "Comprehensive phylogeny of the laughingthrushes and allies (Aves, Leiothrichidae) and a proposal for a revised taxonomy". Zoologica Scripta. 47 (4): 428–440. doi:10.1111/zsc.12296. S2CID 51883434.
  4. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2019). "Laughingthrushes and allies". World Bird List Version 9.1. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  5. ^ a b c "Rufous-necked Laughingthrush (Garrulax ruficollis)". Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  6. ^ "Rufous-necked Laughingthrush (Garrulax ruficollis) - BirdLife species factsheet". Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  7. ^ Yang, Canchao; Su, Tongping; Liang, Wei; Møller, Anders Pape (8 April 2018). "Coevolution between the large hawk-cuckoo (Cuculus sparverioides) and its two sympatric Leiothrichidae hosts: evidence for recent expansion and switch in host use?". Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 115 (4): 919–926. doi:10.1111/bij.12538. ISSN 0024-4066.
  8. ^ Liu, Pengfei; Sun, Yuehua (June 2018). "Sexual size dimorphism and assortative mating in the Plain Laughingthrush (Garrulax davidi concolor)". The Wilson Journal of Ornithology. 130 (2): 510–515. doi:10.1676/16-031.1. S2CID 90414454.

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