Brown Thrashers, like catbirds and mockingbirds, are mimics with extremely varied repertoires consisting of more than 1,100 song types. The male sings a loud, long series of doubled phrases with no definite beginning or end, described by some people as “plant a seed, plant a seed, bury it, bury it, cover it up, cover it up, let it grow, let it grow, pull it up, pull it up, eat it, eat it.” While mockingbirds tend to repeat phrases three or more times, Brown Thrashers typically sing phrases only twice before moving on. They include somewhat crude imitations of other species in their songs, including Chuck-will’s-widow, Northern Flicker, White-eyed Vireo, Tufted Titmouse, Wood Thrush, and Northern Cardinal.
Their calls consist of one to a few repeated notes, the most common of which sounds like a smacking kiss. Other calls include harsh, slurred, whistles, soft chirrups, and hissing sounds.