California Thrasher: Large, slender thrasher with dark brown upperparts and paler gray-brown underparts. Face is finely streaked, eyes are dark, and black bill is very long and down curved. Throat has small buff patch. Tail is long with reddish-brown undertail coverts. Legs and feet are gray-brown.
Range and Habitat
California Thrasher: Resident in California west of Sierra Nevada. Preferred habitats include chaparral, foothills, and dense shrubs in parks or gardens.
First collected by French navigator Jean-François de Galaup, Compte de La Pérouse in 1786, it was also found on Alejandro Malaspina’s 1791 voyage to the Pacific Coast. In 1842 William Gambel collected it, and his “rediscovery” of the California Thrasher is reflected in its species name, redivivum, meaning “resurrected."
It has been observed standing on nests of carpenter ants and allowing them to run over its body and through feathers, a behavior known as anting.
It has been reported to mimic the songs of such birds as the Northern Flicker, House Finch, Bullocks Oriole, American Robin, and Red-tailed Hawk.
The California Thrasher is the largest of the thrashers.
The California Thrasher is actually native to Mexico as well as the United States. This bird has a range that is nearly 200,000 square kilometers. The population of the California Thrasher is about a quarter of a million individual birds. Although this bird species was once rated as Lower Risk; that rating has since been downgraded. The rating for the California Thrasher is now Least Concern as there are no immediate threats which might decrease this bird's population or range.