This larger than robin-sized bird is medium earthy gray-brown above and generally paler below with buffy-orangish undertail coverts. It has a long broad tail that is slightly fanned in flight and a long down-curved bill. There are two recognizable populations. Western birds (Arizona and west Mexico) generally lack wingbars and show more extensive sandy gray-brown on the underparts, particularly on the flanks, with diffuse rounded breast spotting. Eastern birds (New Mexico, Texas and eastern Mexico) show thin white wingbars and are more patterned below with more defined dark spotting/streaking on mostly creamy whitish underparts. Both populations have yellow to yellow-orange eyes and dark malar stripes that frame a paler throat. In flight, note small white tail corners. Similar Bendire's Thrasher has shorter, straighter, thinner bill and their breast spotting is linear.
Length: 28 (cm) Wingspan: 34 (cm)
Song is burbling, with harsh and whistled notes and short trills. Call is a loud, whistled, two-three-part whit-wheet.
Arid deserts, dry scrub, cacti, suburbs, thorny bushes.
Often on ground, where it runs about in quick bursts. Rarely seen more than a few meters off the ground. Flight is somewhat undulating. Males sing from exposed perches. Nest is cup of twigs, lined with finer materials, placed in dense shrub or cactus.
Forages mainly on ground; eats a variety of insects, seeds, and occasional fruit. Often visits bird feeders.
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