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Brown Thrasher

Order: Passeriformes
Family: Mimidae
Genus: Toxostoma
Species: rufum

La. passer sparrow, small bird
La. forma form, kind, species
La. mimus mimic, actor
La. dumetum a thicket
Gr. toxon a bow (for arrows)
Gr. stoma the mouth (for the
     Thrasher's curved bill)
La. rufus red, ruddy

Brown Thrasher, F. C. Hennessey

F.C. Hennessey

Brown Thrashers are eleven to twelve inches long. Orange brown upperparts, darker wings with two short white bands. White underside with tiny black arrowhead spots in rows stretching front to back. Long downward curved bill. Long twitching tail. Yellow eyes.

USGS Brown Thrasher Map

Inhabits eastern North America, west to the base of the Rocky Mountains, throughout the Great Plains, north into Canada from Alberta to New Brunswick and south to the Gulf States..

The Brown Thrasher builds bulky nests of loosely assembled twigs, bark strips, leaves and roots lined with hair and feathers in low trees, bushes, vines, stumps, brush heaps and on the ground.

Lays three to six, usually four or five white eggs, sometimes with a blue green tint. Chases cats and dogs in the vicinity of their nests
Brown Thasher Nest
Runs and hops along the ground. Forages for grasshoppers, crickets, spiders, beetles, ants and other insects on the ground. Also eats a variety of fruit.

Sings a flowing warbling song the upper most conspicuous tree branches

A USGS research center web site and an older version of an Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation brochure included Catbirds and Thrashers as users of platforms.

It said: "These birds will use the nesting platform when natural nesting sites are unavailable. The platforms should be placed in partial shade along main branches of trees or under the eaves of a shed or porch roof."  

In 1993, Catbirds and Thrashers were deleted from the brochure because of a lack of documentation. 

BI Brown Thrasher laf50.jpg (13724 bytes)

Louis Agassiz Fuertes
Fifty Common Birds of Farm and Orchard, 1913

However, Gilbert H. Trafton, the author of "Bird Friends", 1916, recommended platforms open on all four sides for Thrashers, Catbirds and Song Birds.

You may be more likely to attract a Robin, Dove or Phoebe.   


Brown Thrasher Song, F. Schuyler Mathews


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