|Photo by Niranjan Sant (Oriental Bird Images)|
black-chinned laughingthrush (en); zaragateiro-de-garganta-preta (pt); garrulaxe des Nilgiri (fr); chalátan de Nilgiri (es); zimtbrusthäherling (de)
This species is endemic to southern India, only being found in north-western Tamil Nadu, north-eastern Kerala and south-western Karnataka, predominantly in the Nilgiri Hills, and with a smaller disjunct population in the Palakkad-Siruvani Hills.
These birds are 20-24 cm long.
The black-chinned laughingthrush is mostly found in dense understory of tropical moist forests and also in scrublands, plantations and gardens at altitudes of 1.200-2.300 m.
They feed on invertebrates, nectar, flowers, fruits and berries.
Back-chinned laughingthrushes breed in January-June. The nest is a deep cup made of fine twigs, moss, grass and dead leaves, and lined with moss roots, fibres, fine grass, wool, and fur. It is placed in a scrub or tree, usually 1-2 m above the ground. The female lays 2 greenish blue eggs with brown blotches, which are incubated by both parents for 16-17 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 15-18 days after hatching, but only become fully independent 3 weeks later.
IUCN status - EN (Endangered)
This species has a relatively small breeding range and a global population estimated by 2.500-10.000 individuals. The population is suspected to be declining at a moderate rate, owing to the degradation and loss of habitat. Many of the forests within their range are being converted into plantations, reservoirs, crops and human settlements. The indiscriminate use of inorganic pesticides may also be a problem. Having a mountainous distribution that is close to the maximum altitude within its range, this species is potentially susceptible to climate change.