Turdus ravidus (Cory)

Grand Cayman Thrush (Turdus ravidus)

The Grand Cayman Thrush was described in 1886; it was restricted to the island of Grand Cayman where it inhabited mangrove swamps and coral rocks covered with climbing cacti.

The species was quite large, reaching a size of up to 28 cm; it was generally uniformly ash-grey colored, except for the lower abdomen, the undertail coverts and the tips of three of the outer tail feathers which where white; the beak and the eye ring as well as the legs were bright orange red.

The birds were known to feed on the fruits of the highly toxic Manchineel Tree (Hippomane mancinella L.).

The last birds were collected in 1911 by Wilmot W. Brown (without any official permission, by the way), and their collector wrote the following statement about the species’ demise.:

“… this rare thrush which is without question on the verge of extinction due to ravages of domestic cats in a wild state that overrun the island, and to fire ants which kill the young birds in the nest ….” [1]

The last reliable record took place in 1938, when a single bird was spotted by the zoologist C. Bernard Lewis.


syn. Mimocichla ravida Cory



[1] Kevin B. Clark: Wilmot W. Brown: one of the most prolific collectors of the vertebrate fauna of the New World. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard College 126(6): 347-378. 2020


edited: 29.12.2023