No.514 Scaly Thrush Zoothera dauma


Rank : 3
Winter Visitor
Largest thrush in Japan.  Wandering bird seen mainly in winter in Asakawa River basin, mostly from November to April next year. Depending on where you are in Japan, it can be either summer bird, winter bird, or wandering bird. Body pale yellowish-brown, finely barred with crescent-shaped black marks above and below, and the plumage gives an image of a tiger. Song is a high thin whistle and repeats the brooding voice at very slow pace.@
 Called gnue-dori,h the species has been referred to in some Japanese classical literature of poems and stories, such as follows:   A Waka poem in the Anthology of Myriad Leaves, gMan-yo-shu,h edited in the 8th century; roughly meaning as follows (in the translatorfs free translation): @hOh, a gnue-dorih crying helplessly in the Heavenfs riverside.h             By Kakinomoto-no-Hitomaroh
 The Volume 4 of gThe Tale of the Heikeh story includes a story of Minamoto-no-Yorimasa gets rid of a monster with the voice of gnue-dori.h The one Chinese character representing gnueh consists of two Chinese characters; the left-side one representing gnighth and the right-side one gbirdh; and the word is a fitting name for the species who sings at night or early in the morning. When foraging on the ground, the species sometimes swings its lower body with its head holding still|a gtiger dance.h The behaviour looks somewhat strange  from its image and may look a bit comical.

Photograph (click to enlarge)