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Brown Thrasher - The World's Greatest Singer

Article and photos by Kathryn Mann

Brown Thrashers may be the world's best singers. If you ever hear one sing you will agree that its voice is beautiful, its song unforgettable, its phrasing impeccable, and its performance always memorable and enthusiastic.

Brown Thrush
Brown Thrasher on the lookout outside of Bartlesville

Brown Thrashers are almost a foot long. They are reddish brown and have a white belly with black streaks. They have a gray face with yellow eyes and legs. They have a very long tail that accounts for half of their length. Both males and females look the same. They weigh just over two ounces.

Brown Thrasher profile
Brown Thrasher close-up

Brown Thrashers have lived as long as 11 years in the wild.

Brown Thrasher foraging
A Brown Trasher foraging near Pawhuska

Brown Thrashers make their nests in bushes, thickets, and shrubs.

Bird in Cherry Tree
Brown Thrasher perched in a cherry tree near my house

There is no better bird to have in your yard if you do not like snakes. They will make life miserable for almost any snake they see in their territory by getting very close to it and then spreading their wings until the snake leaves the area. If it does not leave they often kill the snake and eat it. Their primary diet is insects which they eat off the ground. They also love wild berries.

Brown Thrasher up-close
Brown Thrasher outside of Dewey, Oklahoma

Brown Thrashers are also known as the Brown Thrush.



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Dana      11:48 PM Sun 6/19/2016

I have a pair with a nest in my back yard they just had a couple of babies so soon I will have 4.

Sheryl      7:24 PM Mon 7/20/2015

I just saw one at my backyard ground feeder in NW OKC. That beautiful color and long tail--what a lovely bird.

Charly Mann      10:10 PM Sun 6/29/2014

Many of the birds that we photographed for Oklahoma Birds and Butterflies have had their populations decline 60 to 80% just in the last four years. Many butterflies have declined just as much.

Juanita Pratt      11:16 AM Wed 6/25/2014

I used to have them in my back yard all the time. Have not seen one for the last two years. Have no clue where they went. Beautiful birds.

Nic      9:32 PM Thu 7/11/2013

I have been a bird watcher for years and have never spotted one of these on my property. For the first time today I spotted on at the bird feeder eating suet. I did not have the fortune to hear it sing, but it has a quite spectacular flight pattern that is unique. Hope it is nesting near by to join my myriad of other wild bird friends.

Uplifting Visions
a guide to happiness, good health, and success
Charly Mann in a Hawaiian shirt
by Charly Mann

From the age of seven I have been enchanted with the idea of living happily ever after, and have made it a life quest to find that answer. I have spoken to hundreds of people – usually older and wiser than me, and read countless books and articles on the subject. In my website Uplifting Visions I share what I consider the best insights I have learned about achieving happiness in life.

Oklahoma Birds Listed by Color

House Finch - male (carpodacus mexicanus)
Purple Finch - male (carpodacus purpureus)
Northern Cardinal - male (cardinalis cardinalis)
Painted Bunting - male (passerina ciris)
Summer Tanager - male (piranga rubra)

Baltimore Oriole - male (icterus galbula)
Orchard Oriole - male (icterus spurius)

Yellow Warbler (dendroica petechia )
Baltimore Oriole - female (icterus galbula)
Orchard Oriole - female (icterus spurius)
Summer Tanager - female (piranga rubra)
Yellow Goldfinch - male (carduelis tristis)
Western Kingbird (tyrannus verticalis)
Eastern Meadowlark (sturnella magna)

Malard - male (anas platyrhynchos)
Dark-eyed Junco - female (junco hyemalis)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (archilochus colubris)
Painted Bunting - female (passerina ciris)
Green Heron (butorides virescens)

Barn Swallow (hirundo rustica)
Belted Kingfisher (ceryle alcyon)
Blue Jay (cyanocitta cristata)
Blue Grosbeak - male (guiraca caerulea)
Eastern Bluebird (sailia sialis)
Indigo Bunting - male (passerina cyanea)
Purple Martin - male (progne subis)

Great Blue Heron (ardea herodias)
Carolina Chickadee (poecile carolinensis)
Eastern Screech-Owl (otus asio)
Red-breasted Nuthatch (sitta canadensis)
Grey Catbird (dumetella carolinensis)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (regulus calendula)
Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher (tyrannus forficatus)
White-breasted Nuthatch (sitta carolinensis)
Tufted Titmouse (baelophus bicolor)
American Robin (turdus migratorius)
Northern Mockingbird (mimus polyglottos)
Mississippi Kite (ictinia mississippiensis)
Dickcissel (spiza americana)

American Crow (corvus brachyrhynchos)
Brown-headed Cowbird - male (molothrus ater)
European Starling (sturnus vulgaris)
Common Grackle (quiscalus quiscula)
Red-winged Blackbird - male (agelaius phoeniceus)
Spotted Towhee (pipilo maculatus)
Turkey Vulture (cathartes aura)

Black & White
American Bald Eagle (haliaeetus leucocephalus)
Black-billed Magpie (pica hudsonia)
Downey Woodpecker (picoides pubescens)
Red-Bellied Woodpecker (melanerpes carolinus)
Purple Martin - female (progne subis)
Eastern Kingbird (tyrannus tyrannus)
Dark-eyed Junco - male (junco hyemalis)
Loggerhead Shrike (lanius ludovicianus)

American Kestrel (falco sparverius)
Blue Grosbeak - female (guiraca caerulea)
Brown-headed Cowbird - female (molothrus ater)
Brown Thrasher (toxostoma rufum)
Common Nighthawk (chordeiles minor)
Carolina Wren (thryothorus ludovicianus)
Cedar Waxwing (bombycilla cedrorum)
Greater Roadrunner (geococcyx californianus)
Killdeer (charadrius vociferus)
Northern Bobwhite (colinus virginianus)
Red-tailed Hawk (buteo jamaicensis)
Cliff Swallow (petrochelidon pyrrhonota)
Horned Lark (eremophila alpestris)
House Finch - female (carpodacus mexicanus)
Northern Flicker (colaptes auratus)
Yellow-billed Cuckoo (coccyzus americanus)
Mourning Dove (zenaida macroura)
Malard - female (anas platyrhynchos)
Purple Finch - female (carpodacus purpureus)
House Sparrow (passer domesticus)
Indigo Bunting - female (passerina cyanea)
Red-winged Blackbird - female (agelaius phoeniceus)
Spotted Sandpiper (actitis macularia)
Upland Sandpiper (bartramia longicauda)
Northern Cardinal - female (cardinalis cardinalis)
Eastern Screech-Owl (otus asio)
Yellow Goldfinch - female (carduelis tristis)
Canada Goose (branta canadensis)

Wild Birds of Northeast OK

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