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Crissal Thrasher - BirdForum Opus

Photo by mtbirder
Southern Arizona, Winter 2010
Toxostoma crissale


11.5 ins (29 cm)

  • Dark grey brown above
  • Grey below
  • White throat
  • Dark moustachial stripe
  • Red undertail
  • Rust coloured belly and undertail coverts
  • Long dark tail
  • Yellow iris
  • Long, down-curved bill
  • Dark legs
  • Sexes similar


Southern California, southern Nevada, most of Arizona, most of New Mexico, western Texas and northern Mexico.



This is a polytypic species consisting of four subspecies[1]:

  • T. c. coloradense:
  • T. c. crissale:
  • Arid south-western US to western Texas and northern Mexico (Sonora to north-western Coahuila)
  • T. c. trinitatis:
  • T. c. dumosum:
  • Northern Mexico (Zacatecas, southern Coahuila, San Luis Potos¡ and Hidalgo)

An additional subspecies dorsale is generally considered invalid[2].


Riparian thickets and desert areas.



The diet includes insects, spiders, seeds, and berries.


It builds its nest from twigs, lined with plant material, close to the branch. The 1-4 unspotted bluish-green, eggs are incubated by both parents for 14 days.


  1. Clements, JF. 2011. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to August 2011. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist
  2. Avibase
  3. Cornell Lab of Ornithology
  4. USGS
  5. Whatbird.com

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