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Le Conte's Thrasher

Toxostoma lecontei ORDER: PASSERIFORMES FAMILY: MIMIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

An uncommon resident of the deserts of the American Southwest and northwestern Mexico, the Le Conte's Thrasher inhabits some of the most desolate environments on the continent.

At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
9.4–11 in
24–28 cm
Weight
1.9–2.7 oz
55–76 g
Other Names
  • Moqueur de Le Conte (French)
  • Cuitlacoche pálido, Cuitlacoche de Le Conte (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • Water may be present in the desert habitat of the Le Conte's Thrasher for only a few days each year, and even then the bird rarely drinks it. It gets its water from the insect food it eats.
  • The oldest recorded Le Conte's Thrasher was a male, and at least 5 years, 8 months old when he was found in California, the same state where he had been banded.

Habitat


Scrub

Desert scrub, mesquite, tall riparian brush and, locally, chaparral.

Food


Insects

Insects and spiders, some seeds and berries.

Nesting

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
2–5 eggs
Egg Description
Bluish green, with variable amount of dark markings.
Condition at Hatching
Helpless.
Nest Description

Open cup of twigs, lined with finer materials. Placed in thick, dense, and thorny desert shrubs or cholla cactus.

Nest Placement

Shrub

Behavior


Ground Forager

Forages on ground, digs pits to find arthropods.

Conservation

status via IUCN

Least Concern

Le Conte's Trasher populations appear to have declined between 1966 and 2015, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 80,000 birds with 80% living in the U.S., and 20% in Mexico. The species rates a 17 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score and is on the 2016 State of North America's Birds' Watch List, which lists bird species that are most at risk of extinction without significant conservation actions to reverse declines and reduce threats. It is also a U.S.-Canada Stewardship species. Le Conte's Thrasher has lost extensive habitat to development in some parts of its range; irrigated lawns, groves, and fields are not compatible with its need for desert vegetation.

Credits

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