Arizona Birding 2010 page 7

Thrashers and Sparrows

Thrasher spot at Salome and Baseline on 24 January 2010.

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Crissal Thrasher was singing in the open at Salome and Baseline on 24 January 2010. We identified it by its large size, plain breast and belly without streaks or spots, rich chestnut crissum, dark malar stripe and long decurved bill. Its eye colour is brownish. It is darker than Le Conte's Thrasher.


Le Conte`s Thrasher at Salome and Baseline on 24 January 2010 was a real skulker though it stood on the top of the bush for about 30 seconds then ran off along the ground. Le Conte’s Thrasher has a dark eye and bill. Its breast and belly are unstreaked and it has a contrastingly dark tail. Compared to Crissal Thrasher it has lighter grayish-brown upperparts, its crissum is a lighter buffy chestnut brown, and its bill is shorter and less deeply curved, Its face is plainer, lacking the dark malar stripe of Crissal Thrasher.


Bendire`s Thrasher at Salome and Baseline on 24 January 2010 is told by its faintly streaked breast, faint wingbars, yellow-orange iris and buffy crissum. Its bill is longer than Sage Thrasher but shorter than Curve-billed Thrasher.


Sage Thrasher at Santa Cruz Flats on 26 January 2010 is the smallest thrasher. It's not shy and stood in the open for several minutes. It has a bright yellow iris, white wingbars and distinct streaks on the breast and belly. Its crissum is pale buffy. Its bill is shorter and straighter than Bendire's.


Curve-billed Thrasher was singing its beautiful song at Gilbert Water Ranch on 25 January 2010. It was the most common thrasher we saw. In many places it was singing or feeding on the ground by tossing the leaf litter and digging vigorously into the soil. Told by its long black decurved bill and bright orange iris, it is mottled on the breast and has a buffy crissum.


Sage Sparrow at Salome and Baseline on 24 January 2010


Lark Sparrow at Sasco Road near Red Rock on 20 January 2010


Gambel's White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii at Salome and Baseline on 24 January 2010. We saw White-crowned Sparrows in every habitat ranging from desert to higher elevations such as Madera Canyon. They were very common.


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