Turdus helleri

The Taita Thrush was previously classified as subspecies of the Olive Thrush , but it is regarded as distinct species since 1985. It reaches a length between 20 to 22 centimetres. Head, breast and upperparts are coloured darkly. The underparts are white and the flanks have a rufous hue. The eyes and the bill exhibit a pale orange coloration. It was named after zoologist Edmund Heller a workmate of the American ornithologist Edgar Alexander Mearns who described this species scientifically in 1913.

The Turdus helleri is classified as Critically Endangered (CR), facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.

* Taita Thrush, Turdus helleri - formerly in T. olivaceus * Somali Thrush or Somali Blackbird, Turdus ludoviciae - formerly in T. More

Range & population Turdus helleri is confined to four tiny forest patches in the Taita Hills, southern Kenya: Mbololo (c.200 ha), Ngangao (c.92 ha), Chawia (c.50 ha) and Yale (2 ha)2,3,4,8. Although there have been reported sightings at Mt Kasigau, 50 km south-east of the Taita Hills, survey work in 1998 did not record the species there1,3. Research in 1997 indicated a total population of c.1,350 birds, with c. More

Order : Passeriformes
Family : Turdidae
Genus : Turdus
Species : helleri
Authority : (Mearns, 1913)