Curve-billed Thrasher

Family: Mimids (Mimidae)
Genus & Species : Toxostoma curvirostre
 - Size: 11" length, 13.5" wingspan, 2.8oz weight
 - Male color and appearance: gray-brown above, lighter gray-brown below and mottled with numerous darker round-oval spots on breast, fewer oval spots on belly; the spots are somewhat faded on the Arizona supspecies of the bird--they are more distinct on the New Mexico/Texas (Chihuahuan) subspecies; large curved blackish bill; orange eye; long tail.
 - Female ID: Appearance like male.
 - Juvenile ID: Like adult with a slightly shorter and less curved bill (see Similar Species notes).
 - Flight: The Chihuauan subspecies displays small white corners on the tail.
Feeding Behavior: Generally feeds on the ground, searching out bugs and small invertebrates.
Similar Species: Most similar is the Bendire's Thrasher. The Bendire's has smaller, more distinct, slightly triangular spots on breast. The bill is shorter and straighter than the Curve-billeds (the bottom of the lower mandible is almost straight), and usually has a pale area at the base of the bill.
Songs and Calls: Song is a melodic jumble of somewhat scratchy notes. See recording below. Call is a clear, sharp two-part whistle.
Status: Common to abundant resident in most areas of southern Arizona.
Habitat: In Arizona this bird flourishes in areas of lush desert, semiarid brush, canyonlands, and in southeast Arizona urban centers with landscaping.
 - AZ: most of the southern half of the state; absent in southwest Yuma County.
 - NM: most of the state; absent in the northwest quadrant
 - TX: most of the western half of the state
Best Chances: In Arizona they are quite common in the Sonoran desert surrounding Phoenix and Tucson.
Recent Sightings: Quite common in Saguaro National Park, adjoining Tucson, AZ.



Whistle Call

(In the background you'll hear a chattering Cactus Wren.)


Curve-billed Thrasher, Willcox, AZ

Curve-billed Thrasher, Ash Canyon, AZ

Curve-billed Thrasher, Texas
     Hover (with your mouse cursor) over the thumbnail photos above to see a full-sized photo below.

Curve-billed Thrasher

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