California Thrasher

California Thrasher

California Thrasher

A songbird in the same family as the mockingbird, the California Thrasher has an impressive repertoire of melodies.  Not as boisterous or prevalent as the mockingbird, Toxostoma redivivum can be difficult to find.  This species is only found in California and Baja California, they prefer chaparral habitat.


One spring Saturday we carved out time to search for a California Thrasher.  We know a trail nearby where their melodious song can be heard every spring when they’re courting; and although we almost never see them, we can hear them.   Shy birds and usually hidden in brush, they are known to be permanent residents in their territory.


They primarily eat insects and berries, and use that long, sickle-shaped bill to flip leaf litter around and dig in the soil.  More info here.


California Thrasher

California Thrasher singing

That day we had a great hike and saw many birds, but the Thrasher never showed.  Then the next day, as we sat on the deck relaxing, who shows up but the California Thrasher.  In over ten years we had never seen or heard him on our property.  But this particular day he stopped by, caught our attention, stayed perched while the binoculars came out, and then flew away.


If I didn’t know better, I might have taken this as a sign to never leave my chair.


Photo credit:  Athena Alexander


40 thoughts on “California Thrasher

    • It doesn’t always happen, does it, Bill? But when they show up, when you want them to, it’s a thrill. Thanks so much for your visit and comment today Bill. I hope you, too, are close to home. 🙂

    • That’s right, pc, you never know with nature. The fun part about nature is, something lovely is always nearby, even if it’s not the species you’re looking for. Thanks so much. 😀

  1. Oh, Jet. Don’t stay in your chair! You would leave hundreds of fans without your eyes, ears, and adventures! And Athena’s magnificent photos wouldn’t be the same without your incomparable wordsmithing accompaniment.

  2. While I doubt there’s a Thrasher in my neighborhood…. but who knows?… this does remind me that I haven’t heard any mockingbirds this year… I hope the drought has nothing to do with this… we usually have quote a raucous one who “sings” night and day at certain times during the year.

    • I’m 99% certain there’s not a thrasher in your nb-hood, because they prefer chaparral (but you’re right in that one never knows, could be a lost fella). But the mockingbirds should be around. I hope one presents it itself to you and fills your world with melodies, Roslyn. 😀 Thanks so much for commenting. 😀

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