Saturday, March 10, 2012

Curve-billed Thrasher

There is a pair of Curve-billed Thrashers (Toxostoma curvirostre) frequently hanging around the patio feeders here at my sister & brother-in-law's place in Tucson. 
This is the most adaptable, and thus most widespread thrasher. (Last year, there was a much-photographed Curve-billed Thrasher in Saskatoon, SK, Canada.)  (Update:  how to tell I'm getting old...the years are flying by and I'm getting them all mixed up...I am advised the Curve-billed Thrasher in the Saskatoon area, nicknamed Conrad, wasn't there last year or even the year before that!  No, it was in 2006.  Really?).

From Wikipedia:
It is commonly found throughout the deserts and brush-filled areas of the south-western United States, from about the Sonoran Desert of Arizona and across New Mexico to west Texas, as well as most of Mexico, from the Sonoran-Chihuahuan Deserts and south through the Mexican Plateau to regions south of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt in south-central Mexico.

The Curve-billed Thrasher feeds on ground-dwelling insects, as well as seeds, and berries. It often pushes out Cactus Wrens in its area. This thrasher's voice is a sharp, liquid, whistle wit-WEET!, or wit-WEET-wit, as well as a warbling, squeaky, hurried song.

This thrasher often roosts in a tall tree or spiny vegetation, preferring a cactus. The nest is a loosely woven cup made of thorny twigs. The female lays 2 to 4 eggs, which are bluish-green and speckled with brown. The eggs are incubated by both sexes, and hatch after about thirteen days. The young will leave the nest after 14 to 18 days after hatching.
More information at All About Birds

Above quotes and more info from Wikipedia at:


  1. Super photos! I love Arizona Birding!

  2. Neat. Great photo. I saw my first last December visint my son In Queens Creet Arizona. Sitting on a cactus just like yours... :)

    1. Thanks, TB. If these birds didn't have such a curved-bill, their common name probably would have been Cactus Thrasher!