Bendire's Thrasher

Toxostoma bendirei




Mockingbirds and Thrashers (Mimidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Green to gray green with brown marks at large end

Number of Eggs:

3 - 5

Incubation Days:

12 - 14

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

3 - 5 feet above ground., In shrub, small tree, or cactus.

Nest Material:

Sticks., Lined with leaves, grasses, rootlets, and other fine materials.


Northern birds migrate



Bendire's Thrasher: Medium-sized thrasher with olive-brown upperparts and spotted buff underparts. Bill is short, gray and only slightly decurved with pale pink lower mandible base. Eyes are yellow-orange. Tail is long, olive-brown above, black with white tips below, and has brown undertail coverts. Sexes are similar.

Range and Habitat

Bendire's Thrasher: Breeds in southeastern California, southern Nevada, southern Utah, and western and central New Mexico south to central Sonora. Spends winters in northwestern Mexico. Preferred habitats include semi-desert and desert areas, with large shrubs or cacti and open ground, and open woodlands with scattered shrubs and trees.

Breeding and Nesting

Bendire's Thrasher: Three to five brown-marked, green to gray green eggs are laid in a cup nest made of sticks and lined with leaves, grass, pieces of fabric, rootlets, and other fine materials. Nest is built 3 to 5 feet above the ground in a shrub, small tree, or cactus. Incubation ranges from 12 to 14 days and is carried out by both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Bendire's Thrasher: Eats primarily insects but also takes some fruits; forages on the ground.


Bendire's Thrasher: Song is a pleasant warbling mix of phrases, repeated one to three times. Call is a low, coarse "chek" or "chek-chek."

Similar Species

Bendire's Thrasher: Curve-billed Thrasher is larger and bulkier, with larger bill, brighter orange eyes, and different call.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Undertail covertsX
Small feathers that cover the areas where the retrices (tail feathers) attach to the rump.
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Lower mandibleX
The lower part of the bill.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X