The Blue-whistling Thrush can usually be found in the hilly and mountainous regions covered with forests. It has a beautiful dark purple feather coat that is decorated with tiny silver spots on its head, back, and wings.
The blue whistling thrush is a unique bird belonging to the Muscicapidae family, which is part of the Old World flycatchers. With its deep violet-blue hue and shimmering speckles on most of its body feathers, except for the lores, abdomen, and under the tail, it truly stands out. Its wings have a slightly different shade of blue with white spots at the tips of the median coverts. The bill is also remarkable, standing out in yellow. This bird measures between 31 and 35 cm (12 to 14 inches) in length and weighs between 136 to 231 g (4.8 to 8.1 oz), depending on the subspecies. Comparatively, the blue whistling thrush is roughly twice as heavy as an American robin. Despite not belonging to the true thrush family, it is part of the old-world flycatcher family. The wing chord ranges from 15.5 to 20 cm (6.1 to 7.9 inches) in length, the tarsus measures 4.5 to 5.5 cm (1.8 to 2.2 inches), and the bill spans 2.9 to 4.6 cm (1.1 to 1.8 inches). Its size can vary across its range, with larger individuals found in the northern part of its habitat and slightly smaller ones to the south, following Bergmann’s rule.
Male and female birds have comparable feather features. In northern China, for example, both genders weigh around 188 g (6.6 oz) and 171 g (6.0 oz), respectively. Meanwhile, in India, they have an average weight of 167.5 g (5.91 oz) and 158.5 g (5.59 oz).
These birds are found in a wide range of countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tibet, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, and Vietnam. When residing in the Himalayas, these birds move to lower elevations during the winter months.
The blue whistling thrush can usually be found in temperate forests, as well as sub-tropical or tropical moist mountainous forests. They are known to inhabit areas like the Tia Sha and Himalayas.
These creatures have a varied diet that consists of fruits, earthworms, insects, crabs, and snails. When it comes to eating snails and crabs, they typically crush them against rocks before consuming them. In captivity, there have been instances where they have killed and eaten mice. In their natural habitat, they have been observed preying on small birds.
The Blue Whistling Thrush is a bird that is often seen alone or in pairs. They are known for their quick, hopping movements on rocks and their habit of flipping over leaves and small stones to check for prey. When they are alarmed, they spread and droop their tails. These birds are active at night and during the breeding season from April to August, they sing in the darkness of dawn and dusk, a time when few other birds are calling. Their calls are most prominent before sunrise, especially in November. The Blue Whistling Thrush constructs cup-shaped nests made of moss and roots, usually in ledges or hollows alongside streams. They typically lay 3 to 4 eggs in a clutch, with some pairs raising a second brood.
According to the IUCN Red List, this particular bird is classified as being of minimal concern.