Tag Archives: Turdus lherminieri

Turdus lherminieri ssp. ‘Martinique’

Martinique Forest Thrush (Turdus lherminieri ssp.)

The Forest Thrush (Turdus lherminieri (Lafresnaye)) inhabits, respectively inhabited some of the islands of the Lesser Antilles, where it is known from Dominica, Guadeloupe, and Montserrat as well as from Saint Lucia.

The species is, however, not known from Martinique, which is located between Dominica and Saint Lucia, but almost for sure did once occur there as well and probably did so with an endemic subspecies; yet currently there is no proof so far for that assumption, thus I will only briefly mention this assumption here.

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edited: 02.05.2022

Turdus lherminieri ssp. sanctaeluciae (P. L. Sclater)

St. Lucia Forest Thrush (Turdus lherminieri ssp. sanctaeluciae)

The Forest Thrush is endemic to the Lesser Antilles, were four subspecies have been described, each inhabiting only a single island (Dominica, Guadeloupe, Montserrat, and Saint Lucia).

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The St. Lucia Forest Thrush differed from the nominate race by its slightly lighter colored upper side, the absence of black spots on its chest, by its slightly less pronounced rufous shade on the lower throat and the foreneck as well as by the lighter rufous coloration of the inner lining of its quills, by the brown bases of its undertail coverts which have white instead of cream-colored tips, and finally by its nearly completely yellow beak.

R. Bowdler Sharpe writes about this island form in 1902.:

… that it is called in Santa Lucia “Molvie” or “Mauvie”. … This bird is counted as one of our game birds, and is killed in large numbers from August to January yearly. About October to December these birds are found in large numbers in flocks feeding on the berries of certain trees; but for the remainder of the year they are dispersed in pairs, and become very poor. They breed about April or May, the female building a nest of dried leaves, twigs &c. on a bush or low tree, laying two eggs of a blue-green. they take very little shot to kill them.” [1]

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Formerly considered to be quite common, the St. Lucia Forest Thrush was last seen in 2007 near the town of Chassin in the northern part of the island, it is now believed to be most likely completely extinct. [1]

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References:

[1] Hannah Wheatley: Forest thrush (Turdus lherminieri): request for information. BirdLife’s Globally Threatened Bird Forums. August 23, 2018

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(bird in foreground)

Depiction from: ‘Henry Seebohm; R. Bowdler Sharpe: A Monograph of the Turdidae or family of thrushes. London: Henry Sotheran 1902’  

(public domain)

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edited: 12.06.2020