Animal picture of the day: the pitch-black robin

/ Jeremy Hance

A species of robin with a black head, aptly named the blackthroat (Luscinia obscura), had rarely been seen since its first description in 1891 until last year when researchers located some of the species' breeding grounds. They documented fourteen singing males in the Quingling mountains of its native China.

An adult male blackthroat Foping National Nature Reserve, Shaanxi, China, June 2011. © Per Alström.
An adult male blackthroat Foping National Nature Reserve, Shaanxi, China, June 2011. © Per Alström.

A species of robin with a black head, aptly named the blackthroat (Luscinia obscura), had rarely been seen since its first description in 1891 until last year when researchers located some of the species’ breeding grounds. They documented fourteen singing males in the Quingling mountains of its native China.

The blackthroat looks like the European robin (Erithacus rubecula) but with a black breast and neck. The blackthroat is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List and is likely threatened by deforestation and forest fragmentation, though scientists still know little about the species.


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