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2011-12-01
Georgia’s State Bird – Brown Thrasher


The Brown Thrasher - Toxostoma rufum - is a bird in the Mimidae family, a group that also includes the New World catbirds and mockingbirds. Its breeding range includes the US and Canada east of the Rocky Mountains. It is a partial migrant, with northern birds wintering in the southern US, where it occurs throughout the year. It is found in thickets and dense brush, often searching for food in dry leaves on the ground.

Description

It is bright reddish-brown above with thin, dark streaks on its buffy underparts. Its long, rufous tail is rounded with paler corners, and eyes are a brilliant gold.

Call

They are known to have as many as over 3000 unique songs in their vocal repertoire. Brown Thrashers are mimics. Most common calls include and a low churr and a loud, smacking spuck,

Food

This bird is omnivorous, eating insects, seeds, berries, snails and earthworms.  

Breeding

The male sings a series of short repeated melodious phrases from an open perch to defend his territory and is also very aggressive in defending the nest. The nest is built in a dense shrub or low in a tree and the females lays 3 to 5 eggs which are incubated and cared for by both parents. Many raise two or three broods in a year.

Conservation Status – Least Concern

It has declined in numbers in some areas due to loss of suitable habitat.

Birdwartching

A widespread bird of eastern North America, it is generally a secretive bird of dense thickets and hedgerows. Often seen feeding on the ground, probing for insects with its long slender bill.


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