Curve-billed thrashers (Toxostoma curvirostre) make loose, bulky nests in cholla cactus or other spiny shrubs. The outer portion of the nest is thorny, while the deep, inner cup is lined with grasses, rootlets, animal hairs, feathers or other fine materials.
The three to five light blue-green eggs are heavily spotted with tiny reddish-brown spots. I was surprised that the eggs did not appear to have spots since I watched the curve-billed thrashers tend the nest for quite a while. The nests were definitely thrasher nests. Only when the photographs were enlarged did the very small spots become visible.
Both parents incubate the eggs during the day. At night, the female cares for the eggs alone. After 12 to 15 days, helpless chicks hatch. After 14 to 18 days the young thrasher fledge.
I was determined to get pictures of the eggs and kept getting thorns in my hands and face as I maneuvered the camera into position. Thankfully Leonard grew up around cactus and was adept at removing thorns from skin. Will I ever learn?
These nests were along an arroyo in Green Valley AZ. Note in one nest an egg has hatched and the fuzzy dark down of a chick is visible.
My previous post (Curve-billed Thrasher 05-30-16) gives more information on this common bird of the Southwest Sonoran Desert.