California Thrasher

California thrashers (Toxostoma redivivum) are the only thrashers within their range, the chaparral foothills along the California Coast and Sierra Nevada and in Northern Baja. Within their range California thrashers are common. Since we do not live near the range of California thrashers, Leonard and I were delighted to recently see this specimen along the Bench Trail in The Pinnacles National Park CA. Leonard noted that this was only the second California thrasher he has seen, the previous sighting being 64 years ago.

The largest of thrashers, California thrashers spend most of their time on the ground, walking and running with their long tails held high as they quickly move between areas of bushy cover. They forage using their heavy bills to flip aside litter or to dig in the soil for insects and other invertebrates. They will also eat berries.

California thrashers are large, uniformly brown birds. Their bellies and flanks are a tawny buff as are their throats and eyebrows. The decurved bills are long and black.

California thrashers are permanent residents, rarely wandering even short distances from their breeding areas. They form long-term pair bonds.

Oh, this was my first California thrasher sighting.

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