Brown Thrasher

brown thrasher standing on a stone block
Brown thrasher

NPS Photo

Toxostoma rufum

Brown thrashers are found throughout the southeastern United States year-round and are found across the eastern United States around the summer months when they breed.

They eat a wide variety of insects, seeds, and nuts. They will also eat small insects and frogs. They locate most of their food by foraging through dead leaves and soil on the ground, using their beaks to sift through leaf litter and dirt.

Brown thrashers build their nests in dense shrubbery, and both the male and the female work together to build the nest. They build large and bulky nests made up of sticks, twigs, weeds, grass, and bark. On average they lay about four eggs in their nest. Both parents will help incubate the eggs and feed the chicks. Chicks leave the nest less than two weeks after hatching! Brown thrashers will usually have two or three clutches per year.

Kaufman, K. (2001). Lives of North American Birds. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Thompson, N. S., & Boughey, M. J. (1976). Species specificity and individual variation in the songs of the brown thrasher (Toxostoma rufum) and catbird (Dumetella carolinensis). Behaviour, 57(1-2), 64-89.

Last updated: April 20, 2021

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