California Thrasher (Toxostoma redivivum)

California Thrasher

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Mimidae | [latin] Toxostoma redivivum | [UK] California Thrasher | [FR] Moqueur de Californie | [DE] Kalifornien-Spottdrossel | [ES] Cuitlacoche Californiano | [NL] Californische Spotlijster


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Toxostoma redivivum NA California, also Baja California
Toxostoma redivivum redivivum
Toxostoma redivivum sonomae

Physical charateristics

A large, dull gray-brown thrasher, with a pale cinnamon belly and undertail coverts; tail long; bill sickle-shaped.
The eyes are dark brown. It is the only thrasher of this type in California west of the desert divides (except very locally, where Le Conte’s and Crissal thrashers overlap).

Listen to the sound of California Thrasher

[audio: Thrasher.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 30 cm wingspan max.: 33 cm
size min.: 32 cm size max.: 33 cm
incubation min.: 14 days incubation max.: 15 days
fledging min.: 17 days fledging max.: 1 days
broods: 2   eggs min.: 6  
      eggs max.: 0  


North America : California, also Baja California


Chaparral, foothills, valley thickets, parks, gardens.
Within its range, found in practically any lowland habitat with dense low brush. Most common in chaparral, also occurs in streamside thickets and in suburban neighborhoods that have enough vegetation. Extends into edges of desert regions, and in chaparra
l in mountains up to about 6,000′.


Pairs may remain together on territory all year. Male sings to defend nesting territory, usually from top of shrub or tree; song often includes imitations of other birds.
Nest: Placed in dense shrub or extensive thicket, less than 10′ above the ground, usually 2-
4′ up. Nest (built by both sexes) is a bulky open cup of sticks and twigs, lined with fine grass, weeds, rootlets, strips of bark, and other soft items.
Eggs: 3-4, sometimes 2. Pale blue, evenly spotted with pale brown. Incubation is by both parents, about 14 days.
Young: Both parents feed nestlings. Young leave the nest after about 12-14 days, are unable to fly well for several more days. Male may care for young from first brood while female begins laying
second clutch. 2 broods per year, perhaps sometimes 3.

Feeding habits

Mostly insects and berries. Feeds on a wide variety of insects, including ants, wasps, bees, beetles, caterpillars, moths, and many others. Also eats some spiders and centipedes. Berrie
s and small fruits are important in diet, and eats seeds, acorns, and other plant material. Will come to bird feeders for miscellaneous scraps.
Behavior: Forages mostly on the ground, using its heavy curved bill to flip leaf litter aside and to dig in the soil as it searches for insects.


This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
California Thrasher status Least Concern


California, northern Baja California.
b Migration: Strictly permanent resident, rarely wandering even a short distance from breeding areas.

Distribution map

California Thrasher distribution range map

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