Bendire's Thrasher Life History


Habitat DesertsDesert, especially areas of tall vegetation, cholla cactus, creosote bush and yucca, and in juniper woodland.Back to top


Food InsectsInsects, spiders, seeds, and berries.Back to top


Nest Placement

Nest Shrub

Nest Description

Open cup of sticks, lined with soft materials. Placed in shrubs, cacti, or trees.

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size:3-5 eggs
Egg Description:White or very pale blue-green with dark speckles.
Condition at Hatching:Helpless.
Back to top


Behavior Ground ForagerForages on ground, pokes and probes in plant litter, and digs in the soil with its bill.Back to top


Conservation Red Watch ListBendire's Thrasher declined by over 4.5% per year between 1966 and 2014, resulting in a cumulative decline of 90% during that time, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 70,000 with 81% spending some part of the year in the U.S., and 51% in Mexico. They rate a 16 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score, and are a Tri-National Concern species, and a U.S.-Canada Stewardship species. They are on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List, which lists bird species that are at risk of becoming threatened or endangered without conservation action. Bendire's Thrasher is listed as "Species of Special Concern" in California.Back to top


England, A. Sidney and W. F. Laudenslayer Jr. (1993). Bendire's Thrasher (Toxostoma bendirei), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.

Lutmerding, J. A. and A. S. Love. Longevity records of North American birds. Version 2015.2. Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Bird Banding Laboratory 2015.

North American Bird Conservation Initiative. (2014). The State of the Birds 2014 Report. US Department of Interior, Washington, DC, USA.

Partners in Flight (2017). Avian Conservation Assessment Database. 2017.

Sauer, J. R., J. E. Hines, J. E. Fallon, K. L. Pardieck, Jr. Ziolkowski, D. J. and W. A. Link. The North American Breeding Bird Survey, results and analysis 1966-2013 (Version 1.30.15). USGS Patuxtent Wildlife Research Center (2014b). Available from

Sibley, D. A. (2014). The Sibley Guide to Birds, second edition. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, USA.

Back to top

Looking for ID Help?

Get Instant ID help for 650+ North American birds.

Try Merlin Bird ID