Bassian Thrush is a shy, secretive bird

The Bassian Thrush is a secretive shy bird that inhabits densely-forested damp areas with a thick overhead canopy.

It favours the forest floor, and can be heard and seen scratching in leaf litter on the forest floor or in grassy clearings on the forest edge.

The birds eat insects, worms and fruit found in the leaf litter.

Like many ground-feeding birds, they cock their heads and seem to listen before pouncing on a juicy worm.

The Bassian Thrush is also known as the Ground Thrush, for obvious reasons and is a native Australian bird.

It has a close relative, the Russet-tailed Thrush, which inhabits similar areas and is almost identical in appearance, most reliably distinguished by its different call.

These birds are usually silent although the male will often call during the winter months, emitting clear descending whistles.

The plumage on these birds consists of mottled brown to olive-brown feathers, heavily scalloped with black crescent-shaped bars on the back, rump and head.

It has paler underparts, a white eye-ring and a large straight bill with a hooked tip.

When alarmed or disturbed, the bird crouches low and runs a short distance or flies rapidly into cover.

On occasions it will remain motionless, avoiding detection by its mottled plumage, which provides excellent camouflage.

When the Thrush flies it takes a direct and rapid path through the forest.

In the Hunter Valley, Bassian Thrush has been seen at Green Point (Belmont), Gloucester area, the Watagans and more recently at the Hunter Region Botanic Gardens at Heatherbrae.

Breeding season is from June to February each year and often two broods are raised. Nests are built in a major tree-fork or in a depression on top of a stump. 

A deep cup-shaped nest is constructed and lined with shredded bark and grass.

Sometime the nest is covered with moss and two or three bluish-green eggs are laid.

Bassian Thrush often use the same nest more than once.

They inhabit a unique environment, one that is under threat from human activity. 

They are sedentary although in dry seasons they may move to more suitable areas.

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