The blue-crowned laughingthrush is one of the rarest species we have at the zoo. They're only found in two tiny areas of China and there are thought to be less than 200 left in the wild.

Our birds are part of a European and international stud book breeding programme for this very rare species and we are one of only a handful of zoo’s that breed it regularly.

Our birds help to provide a 'safety net' captive population, whilst our China conservation programme helps to support researchers and conservationists in China, who are trying to save the species from extinction in the wild.

Our blue-crowned laughingthrushes can be seen flitting through the vegetation in the Tropical Realm and we also have several other breeding pairs, which are kept in dedicated off-show breeding aviaries. 

These birds are very sociable and form tight family groups with young from earlier nests helping to rear chicks from later broods.

Blue-crowned Laughingthrush (c) He Shu-hui - Chester Zoo

Image © He Shu-hui

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Interesting facts

Scientific Name: Garrulax courtoisi

Where they live: Only found in two remote areas of China.

Habitat: Lowland and hill forest, often found along rivers and streams.

Diet: Laughingthrushes are omnivorous and eat a variety of food including fruit, berries, insects and other invertebrates.

Weight: 50 grams.

Threats: Loss of habitat due to logging of lowland rainforest for tropical timber and clearance of forests for agricultural land. Capture of birds for the local and international pet bird market. Hunting of birds for food.