Brown Thrasher
Toxostoma rufum
Family: Mimidae


Photo courtesy Pete Williams, Florida
September 5, 2007

To identify, look for a bird that is 9-1/2 to 11 inches overall. The tail is long; bright reddish brown above. There will be two white wingbars. The underside is white streaked with brown. Its preferred habitat is open brushy areas, forest edges, hedgerows, thickets, suburbs and parks. Both male and female bird tend the eggs and feed the young. They will nest three times a year, separate at the end of the season and then find new mates the following year.

Thrashers, like mockingbirds and catbirds, are members of the family Mimidae, or "Mimic Thrushes." A characteristic of this group is the imitation of sounds. the most notable quality of the thrasher's music, aside from the occasional imitation, is the phrasing. The loud, ringing song has been written in this vein: "Hurry up, hurry up; plow it, plow it; harrow it, chuck; sow it, sow it, chuck-chuck, chuck-chuck; hoe it, hoe it." The bird is usually seen singing from a high perch out in the open.

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