The Laughingthrushes (aka Laughing Thrushes) are the genus Garrulax of the large Old World babbler family of passerine birds.
They occur in tropical Asia, with the greatest number of species occurring in the Himalaya and southern China.
These are rangy, medium-sized, floppy-tailed landbirds with soft fluffy plumage. These birds have strong legs and are quite terrestrial.
This group is not strongly migratory, and most species have short rounded wings, and a weak flight.
A few, like Streaked Laughingthrush occur in fairly open habitats, but most are jungle species, difficult to observe in the dense vegetation they prefer.
Like other babblers, these are noisy birds, and the characteristic laughing calls are often the best indication that these birds are present.
As with other babbler species, they frequently occur in groups of up to a dozen, and the rainforest species like Ashy-headed Laughingthrush often occur in the mixed feeding flocks typical of tropical Asian jungle.
Ashy-headed Laughingthrush (Garrulax cinereifrons):
The Ashy-headed Laughingthrush is an Old World babbler. The Old World babblers are a large family of Old World passerine birds characterised by soft fluffy plumage. These are birds of tropical areas, with the greatest variety in southeast Asia.
The Ashy-headed Laughingthrush is a resident breeding bird endemic to Sri Lanka. Its habitat is rainforest, and it is seldom seen away from deep jungle or dense bamboo thickets in the wet zone. This species, like most babblers, is not migratory, and has short rounded wings and a weak flight.
Although its habitat is under threat, this laughingthrush occurs in all the forests of the wet zone, and is quite common at prime sites like Kitulgala and Sinharaja. It builds its nest in a bush, concealed in dense masses of foliage. The normal clutch is three or four eggs.
Ashy-headed Laughingthrush is a rangy, 23cm-long bird with a long floppy tail. It is rufous brown above and deep buff below, with a grey head and white throat. Like other babblers, these are noisy birds, and the characteristic laughing calls are often the best indication that they are present, since they are often difficult to see in their preferred habitat.
As with other babbler species, Ashy-headed Laughingthrushes frequently occur in groups of up to a dozen, and are also often found in the mixed feeding flocks typical of tropical Asian jungle. They feed mainly on insects, but also eat jungle berries.