Le Contes Thrasher (Toxostoma lecontei)

Le Contes Thrasher

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Mimidae | [latin] Toxostoma lecontei | [UK] Le Contes Thrasher | [FR] Moqueur de Leconte | [DE] Wusten-Spottdrossel | [ES] Cuitlacoche palido | [NL] Woestijnspotlijster


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Ramphocinclus lecontei
Toxostoma lecontei NA, MA sw USA, nw Mexico
Toxostoma lecontei arenicola
Toxostoma lecontei lecontei
Toxostoma lecontei macmillanorum

Physical charateristics

A very pale thrasher of the desert, with a darker tail. The eyes are dark.

wingspan min.: 30 cm wingspan max.: 33 cm
size min.: 24 cm size max.: 28 cm
incubation min.: 14 days incubation max.: 20 days
fledging min.: 12 days fledging max.: 15 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 4  


North America, Middle America : Southwest USA, Northwest Mexico


Desert flats with sparse growth of saltbush. Lives in more open
habitats than other thrashers, on dry flats with only scattered low shrubs. Found especially in areas of sparse saltbush, also on creosote bush flats in some areas; mainly where there are a few slightly larger mesquites or cholla cactus.


May mate for life. Pairs remain together at all seasons on permanent territories. In courtship, male may present female with twig or insect. Male sings to defend territory, beginning in midwinter; nesting may begin in February or even January, but lasts u
ntil June in some areas.
Nest: Usually placed less than 5′ above the ground. Low, dense cholla cactus fav
ored as nest sites; will also nest in saltbush, mesquite, or other low shrubs. Nest (built by both sexes) is a bulky open cup of thorny twigs, lined with rootlets, leaves, plant fibers, sometimes with softer inner lining of plant down.
Eggs: 3-4, sometimes 2. Pale greenish blue, lightly dotted with brown. Incubation is by both parents, about 15 days.
Young: Both parents bring food for nestlings. Young leave nest about 13-17 days after hatching. 2 broods per year, perhaps rarely 3.

Feeding habits

Mostly insects.
Diet is not known in detail, but feeds mainly on insects, including grasshoppers, ants, beetles, and many others. Also eats spiders, centipedes, and other arthropods, and sometimes small lizards; eats a few berries and seeds.
Behavior: Forages almost entirely on the ground, walking and running rapidly on bare open soil. Finds much of its food by digging in the soil with its bill.


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). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not 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.
Le Contes Thrasher status Least Concern


Southwestern United States, northwestern Mexico.
b Migration: Probably permanent resident, although it has been recorded in some parts of range only in breeding season.

Distribution map

Le Contes Thrasher distribution range map

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