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Brown Thrasher - BirdForum Opus

Toxostoma rufum
Photographed by KC Foggin
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, June 2004


23.5-30.5 cm (9.25-12 ins)

  • Brown or reddish-brown above
  • White breast
  • Throat streaked with brown
  • Two white wing bars
  • Long tail
  • Relatively large and curved bill


Photo by gkrpepper
Jacksonville, North Carolina, Summer 2007

Breeds in the United States and Canada (east of the Rocky Mountains).

A partial migrant.

Has once been recorded as a vagrant in the British Isles.


This is a polytypic species, consisting of two subspecies:

  • T. r. rufum:
  • South-eastern Canada to Gulf States (mainly east of Rocky Mountains)
  • T. r. longicauda:


Suburban woodland with decidiuous trees, thickets, brush, garden shrubbery.


A very shy and secretive bird.


Mainly an omnivorous ground feeder, it turns over leaves looking for seeds, insects, snails and worms, it will also eat berries, nuts and occasionally lizards.


Call: A sharp lip-smacking type sound.
Song: a double-phrase territorial song, delivered from the top of a tree in the breeding season.


  1. Clements, JF. 2010. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2010. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/Clements%206.5.xls/view
  2. Absolute Astronomy
  3. BF Member observations

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