Living Bird Magazine
A long-tailed, lanky songbird with a deeply curved bill, the California Thrasher is a key species of California chaparral. This relative of mockingbirds is an exuberant songster, and both males and females sing from the tops of shrubs, sometimes duetting. They forage on the ground, using their strong legs and long tail for leverage as they sweep the bill through leaf litter to uncover insects and other prey. This species is on the Yellow Watch List for its restricted range.More ID Info
California Thrashers can be common but hard to see in their dense chaparral habitat. Early morning is a good time to search. Listen for the long song of mostly doubled phrases—singing begins with the onset of the rainy season, often in November, and lasts well into summer. Foraging birds often run off, with tail raised, when they see an intruder. But with some patience and stealth, you should be able to get a satisfying view of this entertaining bird.
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