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Brown Thrasher

Posted on Apr 25, 2016

The Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma rufum) was another photographic target of mine this spring. I typically do get to enjoy the species a bit each April and May, but they are difficult subjects to shoot. Part of the problem is that they have dramatically dropped in abundance since Roger Tory Peterson’s time which makes me appreciate moments like these all the more.

Brown Thrasher-0559

Brown Thrasher-0582-3

For a species that was a tolerably common breeding bird for many people, including Roger’s homes in New York and Connecticut, is now often a ghost in both behavior and population. Habitat loss and degradation, competition with birds like the expanding Northern Mockingbird, and pesticides in their food chain likely all contribute to decreasing numbers. At times one may pop up to belt out its varied songs and calls, or while feeding on an early spring morning as this bird did for me, but it is usually tough to locate them. I wish you all good luck in spotting one soon.

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation & Outreach Coordinator