BROWN THRASHER

BROWN THRASHER (Toxostoma rufum) – (See images below)
DESCRIPTION: The Brown Thrasher is predominantly reddish brown with brown streaks on the white breast. The bill is black, the eyes yellow, and the legs and feet brown.  Sexes are similar. Adults are around 30 cm (12 inches) long and almost half of this length is for the tail.
VOICE: https://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Toxostoma-rufum –   The brown thrasher is part of the same family as the Mockingbird. It has a vast repertoire of songs, probably the largest among birds of North America.
NAME: This bird is called ‘Thrasher’ due to its habit of removing leaf litter in search of insects, although other species also do this. The Latin genus name ‘Toxostoma’ means ‘curved beak’, and the Latin species name ‘rufum’ means ‘reddish’.
HABITAT: Forest edges, thick shrubs, fields.
DIET: Omnivorous – insects, worms, other invertebrates, berries, small reptiles, seeds and nuts.
NESTING: Brown thrashers make their nests in shrubs, including hawthorns, sometimes on the ground in a well-concealed area. Between three and five blue-eggs are laid, incubated by both parents, who also both feed the chicks. The brown thrasher is  known for attacking animals such as dogs, even humans, if they get too close to the nest. In spite of this, the nest has many predators, such as the parasitic Brown-headed Cowbird.
DISTRIBUTION: The breeding range covers south Canada east of the Rockies and the northern half of the USA east of the Rockies. Year-round resident in southeast USA.
DISTRIBUTION MAP: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_thrasher#/media/File:Brown-Thrasher-rangemap.png
ON PEI: Does not breed on Prince Edward Island, occasional sightings only so far.
CONSERVATION: This species has a relatively stable population and is currently not considered at risk.
NOTES: The brown thrasher is the State Bird of Georgia.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Hermit Thrush
REFERENCES: https://www.borealbirds.org/bird/brown-thrasher
https://www.mba-aom.ca/jsp/toc.jsp (Maritimes Breeding Bird Atlas)
http://www.oiseaux-birds.com/card-brown-thrasher.html
https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/brown-thrasher
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Brown_Thrasher/id
https://nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/brown-thrasher (Missouri Department of Conservation)

Brown Trasher close up - Sherwood, PEI - Apr. 4, 2017
Brown Trasher close up – Sherwood, PEI – Apr. 4, 2017 – Roberta Palmer
Brown Thrasher - Winsloe South, PEI - Apr. 30, 2017 - by Don Jardine
Brown Thrasher – Winsloe South, PEI – Apr. 30, 2017 – by Don Jardine

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