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Brown ThrashersBrown Thrasher

Brown thrashers are attracted to backyard feeders with corn, seeds, suet and fruit. Add some water and these birds are likely to come.

Brown Thrasher Identification and Pictures

Brown Thrasher

Sometimes know as the Brown thrush these birds are around 10 inches.  The upper parts are light brownish-red.  They have a striking yellow eye and grayish face.

photo by Phil Musta

The wings are crossed by two faint, buff or white bars, and have dark or black tips on secondary coverts.  Lower parts are yellowish white, with dark brown spots or streaking on the breast and sides.  Their long downward curved bill is useful when probing for insects.  The tail is long and fans out.

The scientific name (Toxostoma rufum) is a combination of two Greek words, toxon (a bow) and stoma (mouth).  It comes from the curved bill of the Brown thrasher.  The last part of the name (rufum) is Latin for reddish, and comes from the body color.

Females look roughly the same as males but are smaller.

Thrashers are the official state bird of Georgia.

Song and Calls

The song includes various phrases repeated two or three times.

Note on some browsers you will not be able to see or use the drop down sound list.
For those that can't use it you can try the sound link below.

Thrasher sound

Brown Thrasher

Habitat and Range

Thrashers prefer low trees, and shrubs with dense vegetation.  They can be seen in fields, wood edges, and residential areas throughout most of the United States, and parts of Canada.

Breeding and Nesting

Breeding season is March through July. Both birds build a large, coarse, cup shaped nest of twigs, dead leaves, and other vegetation.  Fine grass lines the inside of the nest, which will be located in shrubs or bushes on near the ground.

bird eggsBoth birds will incubate 2 to 6 smooth, glossy eggs for 11-14 days.  Egg color is white to pale blue or greenish-blue with reddish-brown speckles.  The Young will fledge in just less than 2 weeks.  The two adults will care for them until they fledge, and for a short period after that.

Food Feeding and Water

Natural foods are insects, invertebrates, fruits, berries, nuts, and seeds.  Brown thrashers like to feed on the ground using their long curved bill to search leaf and ground debris for food.

You can attract them to your backyard with seed, and suet feeders.  They will come for corn, mixed seeds, suet, fruit, and bakery goods.  They will find crumbled bits of suet or puddings spread on the ground.  The birds will gratefully use a water source such as a birdbath to drink, and bathe in.

For more on food and feeding go here.

For more on feeders go here.

To learn about other favorite backyard birds.

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