Saturday, February 4, 2012

Curve-billed Thrasher

A Curve-billed Thrasher hanging out at the San Pedro Riparian NCA, AZ; 12/20/2011.
Before my weeklong visit to Arizona the week before Christmas (2011), I've only seen a Curve-billed Thrasher twice in my life. However, this visit seemed to be the week of seeing these Thrashers (Above) as they were very visible in all the different places I visited during the week. The first one I saw during the week was at the san Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (Above). They are somewhat easily identifiable by their very intense bright yellow eyes, long-curved bill, and their overall brownish/grayish body - lighter underneath with round darker spots. The closest relative of these guys is the Bendire's Thrasher, also a Southwest resident. But Bendire's are less commonly seen and their bills are smaller and a bit straighter. I have not had the opportunity to see or photograph a Bendire's Thrasher ... yet.
Another Curve-billed Thrasher scurrying from one bush to another, AZ Botanical Gardens, Phoenix, AZ; 12/21/2011.
A day later while visiting the Arizona Botanical Gardens in Phoenix, Curve-billed Thrashers were all over the place (Above) - scrounging in the underbrush, perching in low trees, and even foraging out in the open. Then the day after that while hiking in South Mountain Park, I saw another one singing on the top of a low cactus (Below).

Yet another Curve-billed Thrasher perched on a low cactus, South Mt. Park, Phoenix, AZ; 12/22/2011.
Curve-billed Thrashers are another bird unique to the Southwest. They can be found in the southern halves of Arizona and New Mexico, the western half of Texas, northernly into the southeast corner of Colorado, and southernly throughout all of Mexico.

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