Brown Thrasher

photo by Phil Swanson

Toxostoma rufum
L 11 1/2″ (29 cm).

Song or calls:
Listen (UNL audios)

Long series of varied melodious phrases, each phrase usually given only 2 or 3 times. Seldom imitates the songs or calls of other birds.

Description: Sexes similar. Reddish-brown above; paler, and heavily streaked below; two buffy wing bars; yellow eyes; and a long, reddish-brown tail.

brown thrasher
Habitat: Open brushy woods, edge environments, shelterbelts, woodlands, and shrubby residential areas.

Where in Nebraska: Common spring and fall migrant and summer resident across the state, becoming rarer in extreme western Nebraska.

Fun Facts: Brown Thrashers are aggressive defenders of their nests and have been known to strike dogs and even people, hard enough to draw blood.

Brown Thrasher - photo by Phil Swanson Brown Thrasher - photo by Phil Swanson
(click image for larger view)