Leconte's Thrasher

Toxostoma bendirei

Leconte's Thrasher, Toxostoma lecontei, photo © by Mike Plagens

This pale thrasher with a long curved beak is Leconte's Thrasher. It is singing from a perch atop an Allscale Saltbush (Atriplex polycarpa). Western Maricopa Co., Arizona, USA. 29 January 2011.

Leconte's Thrasher is probably the most easily recognized of the trashers, but also the least common and the most difficult to find. Leconte's Thrasher is unlikely to be found outside its preferred habitat, low, salt tolerant woody shrubs. Much of this habitat has been disturbed by agricultural and flood control operations along the major rivers where it occurs. In addition exotic Tamarisk (Tamarix pentandra) has overtaken many of these areas making them inhospitable to Leconte's Thrasher.

The head and back are very pale gray, the chest and belly nearly white, and there is a dark stripe down the side of the face from the corner of the bill. The bill is long and sharply curved for extracting arthropods and other small creatures from the sandy soil. Leconte's Thrasher also occurs in the vast low shrubs in the tidal flood plains adjacent to the the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California) in Sonora, Mexico.

Year-round Resident - Partial Migration

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More Information:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 30 January 2011