California Thrasher

Toxostoma redivivum

A long-tailed bird of the chaparral, the California Thrasher is found only in California and Baja California.

Cool Facts

Photo taken from:
The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America by David Allen Sibley
  • The California Thrasher is the largest of the thrashers.

Description

  • Size: 32 cm (13 in)
  • Wingspan: 31 cm (12 in)
  • Weight: 78-93 g (2.75-3.28 ounces)
  • Large, long-tailed songbird.
  • Grayish brown all over.
  • Long, down-curved bill.
  • Reddish brown underside.
  • Tail dark with paler gray corners.
  • Eyes brown.
  • Bill blackish.
  • Legs blackish.
 
Sex Differences
Sexes look alike.
 
Immature
Similar to adult, but generally duller, with less distinct features and fewer contrasts than in adult.
Range Map
 
Taxonomic Hierarchy

Spotted_Sandpiper_AllAm

2003 Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
     Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Mimidae
     Subfamily: Trochilinae
Genus: Toxostoma
Species: Toxostoma redivivum
     Subspecies:
  • Toxostoma redivivum redivivum
  • Toxostoma redivivum sonomae
Sound
Song is a long series of warbled, variable phrases, some musical and other harsh, which may be repeated once or twice. Call a dry "chak."

Identification and Information
See Anatomy of a Bird
Body
  • Length Range: 28-33 cm (11-13 in)
  • Weight: 85 g (3 oz)
  • Size: 3. Medium (9 - 16 in)
  • Color Primary: Brown
  • Underparts: Buff to orange-brown.
  • Upperparts: Dark olive-brown
  • Back Pattern: Solid
  • Belly Pattern: Solid
  • Breast Pattern: Solid
 
Head
  • Bill Shape: Curved (up or down)
  • Eye Color: Brown.
  • Head Pattern: Eyeline, Streaked, Malar or malar stripe
  • Crown Color: Dark olive-brown
  • Forehead Color: Dark olive-brown
  • Nape Color: Dark olive-brown
  • Throat Color: Buff-gray
  • Cere color: No Data
Flight
  • Flight Pattern: Long flights on swift, shallow wing beats.
  • Wingspan Range: 36-41 cm (14-16 in)
  • Wing Shape: Rounded-Wings
  • Tail Shape: Fan-shaped Tail
  • Tail Pattern: Solid
  • Upper Tail: Dark-olive brown
  • Under Tail: Red-brown coverts.
  • Leg Color: Gray-brown
Breeding
  • Breeding Location: Forest edge, Bushes, shrubs, and thickets, Desert, Desert, semi, Scrub vegetation areas
  • Breeding Type: Monogamous, Solitary nester
  • Breeding Population: Widespread
  • Egg Color: Pale blue with faint light brown spots
  • Number of Eggs: 2 - 4
  • Incubation Days: 14
  • Egg Incubator: Both sexes
  • Nest Material: Grass-lined with roots and twigs.
  • Migration: Nonmigratory
  • Condition at Hatching: Helpless.

Other Names

Similar Species

  • Moqueur de Californie (French)
  • Cuitlacoche Californiano (Spanish)
  • Crissal Thrasher is darker and grayer all over, has a black mustache stripe, light eyes, and reddish under the tail.
  • Le Conte's Thrasher is paler sandy gray, with the pale belly contrasting with the wash of rusty under the tail.
  • Curve-billed Thrasher has faint spotting on the chest and orange eyes.
  • California Towhee is similarly colored, but is smaller and has short, thick bill.

Conservation Status

Relatively common. Loss of habitat to clearing, urban and suburban development, and agriculture constitute the most serious threats to populations.

Habitat

Sources used to Construct this Page:

Lowland and coastal chaparral, and riparian woodland thickets. Also parks and gardens.
  • Cody, M. L. 1998. California Thrasher (Toxostoma redivivum). In The Birds of North America, No. 323 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.
Food
Insects and fruits.
Behavior
Feeds chiefly under cover on the ground by swinging its bill in sideways arcs, digging vigorously and noisily in leaf litter, and peering intently into its excavations.

Adult Sexes Similar

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Additional Photos & Video

 

All photos 2008 Rick Swartzentrover - Free for non-profit use.

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