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Description of the California Thrasher


The California Thrasher has grayish-brown upperparts and breast, a buffy belly, a long tail, a long and much decurved bill, a black malar stripe, and dark eyes.  Length: 12 in.  Wingspan: 12 in.


california thrasher


California Thrasher 1 gl

Photograph © Greg Lavaty.


The sexes are similar.

Seasonal change in appearance

The sexes are similar.


Juveniles resemble adults, but have less contrasting colors.


California Thrashers inhabit gardens, parks, and chaparral.


California Thrashers eat insects and berries.


California Thrashers forage primarily on the ground.


California Thrashers are resident in much of California and Baja California. The population has declined in recent decades.

More information:

Bent Life History

Visit the Bent Life History for extensive additional information on the California Thrasher.

Fun Facts

The California Thrasher is an endemic, resident species which forms long term pair bonds.

California Thrashers defend territories year-round.


Calls include a "chuk" or "churrup" sound, while the song is a series of harsh, repeated phrases.


The California Thrasher’s nest is a cup of twigs lined with finer materials, and is placed low in dense vegetation.

Number: Usually lay 3-4 eggs.
Color: Bluish with darker markings.

Incubation and fledging:
The young hatch at about 14 days, and leave the nest in about another 12-14 days, though continuing to associate with the adults for some time.