California Thrasher Life History


Habitat ScrubLowland and coastal chaparral, and riparian woodland thickets. Also parks and gardens.Back to top


Food InsectsInsects and fruits.Back to top


Nest Placement

Nest Shrub

Nest Description

Robust platform of coarse twigs, lined with roots and fine stems. Well hidden in dense shrubs.

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size:1-6 eggs
Egg Description:Pale blue with dark spots and blotches; markings may form a ring around the large end or be uniformly distributed over the egg.
Condition at Hatching:Helpless.
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Behavior Ground ForagerFeeds chiefly under cover on the ground by swinging its bill in sideways arcs, digging vigorously and noisily in leaf litter, and peering intently into its excavations.Back to top


Conservation DecliningCalifornia Thrasher is relatively common where it occurs, but populations declined by about 35% between 1966 and 2015, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 300,000, with 86% living in the U.S., and 14% in Mexico. The species rates a 16 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score. California Thrasher is on the 2016 State of North America's Birds' Watch List, which includes bird species that are most at risk of extinction without significant conservation actions to reverse declines and reduce threats. California Thrasher is also a U.S.-Canada Stewardship species. Back to top


Cody, Martin L. 2012. California Thrasher (Toxostoma redivivum), 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.

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

Sauer, J. R., D. K. Niven, J. E. Hines, D. J. Ziolkowski, Jr., K. L. Pardieck, J. E. Fallon, and W. A. Link (2017). The North American Breeding Bird Survey, Results and Analysis 1966–2015. Version 2.07.2017. USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Laurel, MD, USA.

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

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