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Curve-billed Thrasher

Toxostoma curvirostre ORDER: PASSERIFORMES FAMILY: MIMIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A common bird of the arid Southwest, the Curve-billed Thrasher occurs in a range of habitats. Perhaps because of its broader tolerances, it is the most widespread of the western thrashers.

At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
10.6 in
27 cm
Wingspan
13.4 in
34 cm
Weight
3 oz
85 g
Other Names
  • Moqueur à bec courbe (French)
  • Cuitlacoche piquicurvo (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • The Curve-billed Thrasher that lives in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona and northwestern Mexico looks different than the form that lives in the Chihuahuan Desert of Texas and central Mexico, and they may be separate species. The Texas and eastern bird has a lighter breast, more contrasting spots, pale wingbars, and white tail corners. The more western form has a grayer breast with less obvious spots, inconspicuous wingbars, and smaller, more grayish tail corners.
  • The oldest recorded Curve-billed Thrasher was at least 10 years, 9 months old when it was found in Arizona in 1946. It had been banded in the same state in 1936.

Habitat


Scrub

Thorn brush and scrub, semi-desert (especially where mesquite or cholla cactus is present), shrubby areas, open brushy woodland, and around towns .

Food


Insects

Insects, seeds, berries.

Nesting

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
3–5 eggs
Egg Description
Light bluish green, heavily spotted with reddish brown.
Condition at Hatching
Helpless.
Nest Description

Deep cup of twigs, lined with grasses or other fine materials, placed in a cholla cactus or spiny shrub.

Nest Placement

Shrub

Behavior


Foliage Gleaner

Forages on ground, pokes and probes in plant litter, and digs holes in the soil with its long, down-curved bill.

Conservation

status via IUCN

Least Concern

Curve-billed Thrasher populations declined by 37% between 1966 and 2015, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 3 million, with 36% living in the U.S., and 64% in Mexico. The species rates a 9 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score. Curve-billed Thrasher is a U.S.-Canada Stewardship species, and is not on the 2016 State of North America's Birds' Watch List. Declines may be due to the loss of habitat to urban development and agriculture.

Credits

Range Map Help

Curve-billed Thrasher Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings

Backyard Tips

This species often comes to bird feeders. Find out more about what this bird likes to eat and what feeder is best by using the Project FeederWatch Common Feeder Birds bird list.

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