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Sage Thrasher

Oreoscoptes montanus ORDER: PASSERIFORMES FAMILY: MIMIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

This smallest of the thrashers is a widespread denizen of the West’s vast sagebrush steppe. Sage Thrashers are furtive creatures that hunt for insects beneath a protective sagebrush canopy. In spring the males sing seemingly endless cascades of song from tall perches. Although they are reminiscent of mockingbirds, Sage Thrashers are browner, more spotted, and lack bold white wing flashes. Their sagebrush habitat is vulnerable to degradation via grazing, development, and invasive plants.

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Find This Bird

Look for Sage Thrashers in relatively undisturbed stretches of sagebrush. Your best bet is in spring, when the males are likely to spend much of the early morning out in the open, singing. Listen for a long, bubbling stream of notes and chatters, or a low call note that sounds like a Red-winged Blackbird.

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bird image Blue-winged Warbler by Brian Sullivan

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