Brown Thrasher

Toxostoma rufum

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Mockingbirds and Thrashers (Mimidae)

Code 4

BRTH

Code 6

TOXRUF

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Brown Thrasher has a large breeding range, estimated at 1,530,000 square kilometers. This includes second growth and semi-open habitats in parts of southern Canada and the United States west to Montana. It has also occurred as a vagrant in Europe, and most populations winter in the eastern and southern United States. This bird species has an estimated global breeding population of 4,900,000 individuals. The population of the bird does not seem to be declining at a rate that necessitates inclusion on the IUCN Red List. Because of this, the conservation rating of the Brown Thrasher is Least Concern.

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SUMMARY

Overview

Brown Thrasher: Medium thrasher, rufous upperparts, black-streaked, pale brown underparts. Eyes are yellow. Brown-black bill curves down, lower mandible has pale base. Wings have two white and black bars. Tail is long and red-brown. Legs and feet are brown. Fast flight on shallow, rapid wing beats.


Range and Habitat North America

Brown Thrasher: This species breeds from southeastern Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, and New England south to the Gulf coast and Florida. It is a resident in the southern states from Texas to Virginia. It spends winters in southern part of breeding range. Its preferred habitats include shrubs and small trees.


Range and Habitat Hawaii


Range and Habitat Palau

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INTERESTING FACTS

  • Brown Thrashers have the largest repertoire of songs of all the North American birds and are able to vocalize 3000 distinct songs.
  • Populations are declining slowly throughout their range, perhaps because of the maturation of shrublands in the East and the elimination of fencerows and shelter belts in the Great Plains.
  • They are an aggressive defender of their nest, and have been known to strike people and dogs hard enough to draw blood.
  • They are the official state bird of Georgia, and the inspiration for the name of Atlanta's National Hockey League team, the Atlanta Thrashers.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION



SONGS AND CALLS

Xeno-Canto Sound

Brown Thrasher Q1

  • Title: Brown Thrasher Q1
  • Recordist: Stuart Fisher
  • Description: Most common call is a "smack".
  • Location: GA
  • Date: "07/18/2016"

Brown Thrasher A1

  • Title: Brown Thrasher A1
  • Recordist: Andrew Spencer
  • Description: Song is a series of conversation-like doubled phrases and pauses.
  • Location: CO
  • Date: "07/18/2016"

Brown Thrasher A2

  • Title: Brown Thrasher A2
  • Recordist: Andrew Spencer
  • Description: Series of doubled song phrases.
  • Location: CO
  • Date: "07/18/2016"

Brown Thrasher C1

  • Title: Brown Thrasher C1
  • Recordist: Paul Marvin
  • Description: "Tchuk" calls given in flight.
  • Location: KY
  • Date: "07/18/2016"

Similar Sounding Xeno-Canto

Northern Mockingbird C1

  • Title: Northern Mockingbird C1
  • Recordist: Paul Marvin
  • Description: Song is a long series of whistled musical phrases, interspersed with trills and harsh notes.
  • Location: FL
  • Date: "07/19/2016"

Yellow-breasted Chat A3

  • Title: Yellow-breasted Chat A3
  • Recordist: Andrew Spencer
  • Description: Song is a variable collection of harsh notes and whistles.
  • Location: AR
  • Date: "07/19/2016"

Similar Sounding Lang

Northern Mockingbird 1

  • Title: Northern Mockingbird 1
  • Recordist: Lang Elliott
  • Description: Song is a long series of musical and grating phrases.
  • Date: "April 28, 2014"
  • Location: NY

Yellow-breasted Chat 1

  • Title: Yellow-breasted Chat 1
  • Recordist: Lang Elliott
  • Description: Song consists of whistles, cackles, mews, catcalls, caw notes, rattles, squawks, and gurgles.
  • Date: "April 28, 2014"
  • Location: FL

Voice Text

"smack", "churr"

Vocalization

Brown Thrasher: Male sings conversation-like phrases with varied phrases given in phrases of two's and three's. Call is a bold "smack" or "churr."

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Artist

Michael Oberhofer

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Lower mandibleX
The lower part of the bill.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X