This robin-sized bird has a rich red-brown back, a long tail, sturdy legs, a striking beady yellow eye, and a long beak, curved ever so slightly downward. Its white chest and belly are boldly streaked in a dark brown.
The Brown Thrasher operates mostly at a low level. It walks around on the ground warily and forages in leaf litter, tossing its beak back and forth to uncover insects and other food. It’s omnivorous, eating seeds, berries, invertebrates, and many insects and their larvae. It is reputed to have at least as great a song repertoire as the Northern Mockingbird.
What brings it to the SBG?
Food, cover, and probably nesting sites. The Brown Thrasher’s diet includes bees, caterpillars, beetles, and grubs, and many other organisms such as earthworms and even tree frogs. The SBG’s plentiful insect populations and even butterfly larvae provide food for the Brown Thrasher. It eats berries from many species including hackberry, Virginia creeper, and sumac – all of which are present at the SBG. It generally nests near the ground in thickets. The Brown Thrasher’s ideal habitat is the edge between thicket or forest and open space, so SBG is attractive on this score as well.
When can I see it?
Spring through Fall. The Brown Thrasher migrates further south in the US for the winter.