This particular bird is always present in my backyard during the rain season days like lately. The Brown Thrasher gets very active when the rain stop and you are able to see this bird thrashing and picking worms and grubs, moving around in the muddy ground. I imagine that he has to do thrashing quickly before the ground get harder and the worms go deeper. I see them all the time but are hard to photograph when they move and hide in the brush.
The Brown Thrasher is bright reddish-brown above with thin, dark streaks on its buffy underparts. It has a whitish-colored chest with distinguished teardrop-shaped markings on its chest. Its long, rufous tail is rounded with paler corners, and eyes are a brilliant yellow. Its bill is brownish, long, and curves downward. Both male and females are similar in appearance. The juvenile appearance of the brown thrasher from the adult is not remarkably different, except for plumage texture, indiscreet upper part markings, and the irises having an olive color.
The brown thrasher has been observed either solo or in pairs. The brown thrasher is usually an elusive bird, and maintains its evasiveness with low-level flying. When it feels bothered, it usually hides into bushes and gives cackling calls. Thrashers spend most of their time on ground level or near it.
This bird is omnivorous, which has a diet that includes insects, berries, nuts and seeds, as well as earthworms, snails, and sometimes lizards and frogs. During the breeding season, the diet consists primarily of beetles, grasshoppers, and other arthropods, and fruits, nuts and seeds. By the late summer, it begins to shift towards more of a herbivore diet, focusing on fruits, nuts, seeds, and grains. By winter, the customary diet of the brown thrasher is fruit and acorns.
The brown thrasher utilizes its vision while scouring for food. It usually forages for food under leaves, brushes, and soil debris on the ground using its bill. It then swipes the floor in side-to-side motions, and investigates the area it recently foraged in. The brown thrasher can also hammer nuts such as acorns in order to remove the shell.
“The Brown Thrasher was proclaimed Georgia State Bird in 1935 and recognized by the Georgia legislature as the official state bird in 1970.”
Text and photographs © HJ Ruiz – Avian101