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Crissal Thrasher Life History


Habitat ScrubFound in dense, low scrubby vegetation, such as desert and foothill scrub and riparian brush.Back to top


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


Nest Placement

Nest Shrub

Nest Description

An open cup of twigs, lined with finer vegetation, placed in middle of dense shrub.

Nesting Facts

Clutch Size:1-4 eggs
Egg Description:Pale blue and unmarked.
Condition at Hatching:Helpless with sparse down.
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Behavior Ground ForagerDigs, picks, and probes with bill in leaf litter.Back to top


Conservation Low ConcernCrissal Thrasher populations appear to have been stable with small declines between 1966 and 2015, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 200,000, with 40% living in the U.S., and 60% in Mexico. The species rates a 12 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score. Crissal Thrasher is not on the 2016 State of North America's Birds' Watch List. Loss of habitat due to clearing land for agriculture or urban and suburban development may threaten some populations. Crissal Thrasher is listed as Species of Special Concern by the California Department of Fish and Game. Back to top


Cody, Martin L. (1999). Crissal Thrasher (Toxostoma crissale), 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. (2020). Longevity records of North American birds. Version 2020. Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Bird Banding Laboratory 2020.

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.

Shuford, W. D., and T. Gardali (2008). California bird species of special concern. A ranked assessment of species, subspecies, and distinct populations of birds of immediate conservation concern in California. Volume 1, Studies of Western Birds. Western Field Ornithologists and California Department of Fish and Game, Camarillo and Sacramento, CA, USA.

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

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