Ramrod Ranch, Monterey, Calif 2011

A long-tailed bird of the chaparral, the California Thrasher is found only in California and Baja California.

Adult Description

  • Large, long-tailed songbird.
  • Grayish brown all over.
  • Long, down-curved bill.
  • Reddish brown underside.

Immature Description

  • Similar to adult, but generally duller, with less distinct features and fewer contrasts than in adult.

Cool Facts

  • The California Thrasher is the largest of the thrashers.
  • The oldest recorded California Thrasher was at least 9 years, 2 months old when it was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in California in 2013. It had been banded in the same state in 2005.
  • Habitat: Lowland and coastal chaparral, and riparian woodland thickets. Also parks and gardens.
  • Food: Insects and fruits.
  • Clutch Size: 1–6 eggs
  • Egg Description: Pale blue with dark spots and blotches; markings may form a ring around the large end or be uniformly distributed over the egg.
  • Condition at Hatching: Helpless.
  • Nest Description: Robust platform of coarse twigs, lined with roots and fine stems. Well hidden in dense shrubs.
  • Nest Placement: Shrub
  • Behavior: Ground Forager. Feeds chiefly under cover on the ground by swinging its bill in sideways arcs, digging vigorously and noisily in leaf litter, and peering intently into its excavations.


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