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Brown Thrasher Toxostoma rufum


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Brown Thrasher
credit: Ken Thomas

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Mimidae, Mockingbirds and Thrashers view all from this family

Description ADULT Has mainly rich reddish brown upperparts, including tail. Wings have two black and white wing bars, face is grayish, and note the beady yellow eye. Underparts are creamy white, but with bold dark streaks on all parts except undertail. JUVENILE Similar to adult, but with dark eyes.

Dimensions Length: 11 1/2" (29 cm)

Habitat Fairly common summer visitor (mainly May-Aug) to northern U.S. and Canada; favors dense thickets and scrub. Present year-round in southeastern U.S., where numbers are boosted by migrants from further north.

Observation Tips Easiest to see when singing.

Range Plains, Great Lakes, New England, Eastern Canada, Southeast, Rocky Mountains, Western Canada, Florida, Southwest, Mid-Atlantic, California, Texas

Voice Song is a series of rich, fluty, whistling phrases, each typically repeated a couple of times; calls including a tongue-smacking stutt and a softer chrrr.

Discussion Well-marked, long-tailed, slim-bodied bird with a longish, downcurved bill. Forages mainly on the ground for insects and other invertebrates, but also feeds on berries and seeds. Rather skulking generally, but retiring habits abandoned by territorial singing birds. Sexes are similar.