Brown Thrasher

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    The big, foxy red Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma rufum) is the official bird of the state of Georgia. Sometimes it forages boldly on open lawns; more often it scoots into dense cover at any disturbance. Brown thrashers may be confused with thrushes but are larger, have longer tails, and are streaked, rather than spotted below.

    They often feed on the ground, scattering dead leaves with their beaks as they search for insects. These birds also perch in trees and shrubs to eat berries. The Brown Thrasher’s song is a series of loud, musical phrases, and a rather inaccurate mimicry of the calls of other birds.

    Nesting Behaviour

    Both parents feed nestlings, with two broods per year, sometimes three. The nest, built by both male and female, is a bulky structure with a foundation of sticks supporting a loose cup of twigs, leaves, weeds, grass, and bark fibers, lined with finer materials.

    Distribution & Habitat

    Brown thrashers breed in areas of dense low growth, especially thickets around edges of deciduous or mixed woods, shrubby edges of swamps or undergrowth in open pine woods; also in suburban neighborhoods with many shrubs and hedges. They winter in similar areas or in any habitat with dense brush. The species seems widespread and common in many areas.

    Video Credits: Rob Curtis
    Image Credits: Joshua J. Cotten


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