Brown thrasher

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The brown thrasher (Toxostoma rufum) is a bird in the family Mimidae, which also includes the New World catbirds and mockingbirds. The dispersal of the brown thrasher is abundant throughout the eastern and central United States, southern and central Canada, and is the only thrasher to live primarily east of the Rockies and central Texas. It is the state bird of Georgia.

As a member of the genus Toxostoma, the bird is a large-sized thrasher. It has brown upper parts with a white under part with dark streaks. Because of this, it is often confused with the smaller wood thrush, among other species. The brown thrasher is noted for having over 1000 song types, and the largest song repertoire of birds. However, each note is usually repeated in two or three phrases.

The brown thrasher is an omnivore, with its diet ranging from insects to fruits and nuts. The usual nesting areas are shrubs, small trees, or at times on ground level. Brown thrashers are generally inconspicuous but territorial birds, especially when defending their nests, and will attack species as large as humans.

The brown thrasher resides in various habitats. It prefers to live in woodland edges, thickets and dense brush, often searching for food in dry leaves on the ground. It can also inhabit areas that are agricultural and near suburban areas, but is less likely to live near housing than other bird species. The brown thrasher often vies for habitat and potential nesting grounds with other birds, which is usually initiated by the males.

The brown thrasher is a strong, but partial migrant, as the bird is a year round resident in the southern portion of its range. The breeding range includes the United States and Canada east of the Rocky Mountains, but has been occasionally spotted West of the Rockies. Studies indicate that thrashers that reside in the New England region of the United States during the breeding season flies toward the Carolinas and Georgia, birds located in the east of the Mississippi winters from Arkansas to Georgia, and birds located in the Dakotas and the central Canadian provinces leave towards eastern Texas and Louisiana. When it does migrate, it is typically for short distances and during the night. There are also records of the bird wintering in Mexico, as well as a British record of a transatlantic vagrant. source

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