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Crissal Thrasher Toxostoma crissale


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Crissal Thrasher
credit: John J. Mosesso, NBII

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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

Description ADULT Has rich gray-brown plumage overall, mostly plain and unmarked and subtly paler below than above; note, however, the chestnut undertail coverts. Has a yellow iris and striking throat markings: white throat, bordered by black malar stripe and white "mustache." JUVENILE Similar to adult.

Dimensions Length: 10 1/2 -12 1/2" (27-32 cm)

Habitat Rather scarce resident associated with dense streamside thickets in desert habitats.

Observation Tips Easiest to see in spring, but still a challenge.

Range Rocky Mountains, Texas, Southwest, California

Voice Song is a series of musical, whistling notes, with some duplication of phrases or pairs of phrases; call is a repeated chiralee, chiraleeÖ.

Discussion Plain-colored desert thrasher with a strikingly long and downcurved bill, used to probe ground for invertebrates. Extremely secretive and positively furtive when people are around; typical view will be of a bird glimpsed dashing, tail cocked, from one patch of cover to another. In spring, however, male sometimes sings from exposed branch. Sexes are similar.