shrike (p. 2781 for comparison
CALIFORNIA THRASHER Toxostoma redivivum Fairlycommon M516
12 in. (31 cm). A large, brownish thrasher, with pale cinnamon belly and undertail coverts; tail long; bill long and sickle-shaped. Eyes dark brown. It is the only thrasher of this type in CA west of deserts (except locally where Le Conte's Thrasher overlaps). voice: Call a dry chak, also a sharp g-leek. Song a long, sustained series of notes and phrases, some musical, some harsh. Phrases ma)' be repeated once or twice, but not several times as in Northern Mockingbird; song more leisurely than Mocker's. similar species: Crissal Thrasher very similar but has deeper chestnut undertail coverts; ranges do not overlap. habitat: Chaparral, coastal sage scrub, thickets, parks, gardens.
11 '/2 in. (29 cm). A rather dark thrasher of desert, with long, deeply curved bill. Note dark chestnut undertail coverts (or "crissum"), darker than in other thrashers. No breast spots. Eyes dull yellowish. voice: Song sweeter and less spasmodic than in other thrashers. Call pichoory or chideary, repeated two or three times. similar species-. California Thrasher. habitat: Dense brush along desert streams, mesquite thickets, willows, locally at higher elevations in manzanita, scrub oak.
LE CONTE'S THRASHER Toxostoma lecontei Uncommon M518
11 in. (28 cm). A very pale thrasher of driest deserts. Shows contrastingly darker tail. Salmon-rust undertail coverts. Eyes dark and stand out on plain face. Rather shy. Runs long distances on ground. voice: Song (Jan.-Apr.) similar to songs of most other thrashers. Call ti-reep, rising on second syllable. similar species: Crissal and California thrashers much darker overall. Sage Sparrow also runs on desert floor with tail cocked up, but much smaller and very differently plumaged. habitat: Desert flats with sparse bushes, mostly saltbush (Atriplex) or creosote bush.
CURVE-BILLED THRASHER Toxostomacurvirostre Fairlycommon M515
11 in. (28 cm). This, the most common desert thrasher, can be told from others that have well-curved bill by mottled breast. Some individuals have narrow white wing bars. Eyes pale orange. Juvenile: Yellow eyes, somewhat straighter bill. voice: Call a sharp, liquid whit-whcetl (like a whistle to attract attention). Song a musical series of notes and phrases, almost grosbeaklike in quality bui faster. Not much repetition. similar species: Bendire's Thrasher has shorter, straighter bill, with slight paling at base, is slightly browner overall, breast spots more triangular (except when worn), different call. habitat: Deserts, arid brush, lower canyons, ranch yards.
BENDIRE'S THRASHER Toxostoma bendirei Uncommon, local M5K
9'A in. (25 cm). Of the various drab desert thrashers, this one may be known by its shorter, more robinlike bill (lower mandible quite straight), with paler (horn-colored or pale gray) base. Breast lightly spotted. Eyes usually yellow. voice: Song a continuous, clear, double-note warble, not broken into phrases. Call a soft tirup. similar species: Curve-billed Thrasher. Caution: Young Curve-billed may have a bill as short as Bendire's, and yellow eyes. Worn Sage Thrasher has much shorter, straighter bill. habitat: Deserts,yuccas, dry brushy farmland.
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