Brown Thrasher – Georgia state bird

Brown Thrasher

Brown Thrasher

Brown Thrasher(Toxostoma rufum)

Description: One of the most impressive song birds in North America, the Brown Thrasher has been documented producing over 1,100 distinct songs. These birds like to occupy areas on the edge of forest or other thick vegetation, and can often be most easily spotted during song. Brown Thrashers can be very defensive of their nests, and are even known to strike humans and dogs who draw to near.
Year Designated: 1970


Key Facts

Life Span1 to 3 Years
FlightFlying Bird

Conservation Status

Least Concern
Conservation StatusLeast Concern


Weight63-86 g
Wing Span29-33 cm
Length23-30 cm

Taxonomic Serial Number                         1786271786

Compared to the Average State Bird

How the Brown Thrasher measures up:

  • Wing span3 cm and 8.3% smaller than the average state bird’s wingspan (36 cm).
  • Weight: just about the average weight for a state bird (85 g).
  • Length: is just about the average length of a state bird (27 cm)

Scientific Classification

AnimaliaChordataAvesPasseriformesMimidaeToxostoma rufum


Appearance Description

AppearanceLong proportions, with a long tail which is often seen pointed upwards. Bill is also long, slightly curved down. Mostly rust or reddish brown, these birds have white underparts that are streaked with brown. Heads are more gray and eyes are yellow.



DietBrown Thrashers eat a good mix of insects, nuts, seeds, and fruits. Sometimes eats larger prey, such as earthworms, lizards, or lizards.
Communication StylesThese birds have over 1,100 different documented song types, which is more than any other North American bird. They will often imitate other birds. Brown Thrashers produce complex yet structured songs, often carrying on for long periods of time.
Migratory BehaviorBirds in the northern parts of the US tend to migrate south to Georger, the Carolinas, Louisiana and Texas during breeding season. Migrations is usually done during nighttime.

Range of Habitation



Brushy fields and forest edges. These birds like to hang near thick foliage into which they can easily and quickly take cover. Less likely to live near housing than some other bird species.


snakes, birds of prey, cats.

Mating and Breeding

Breeding Overview

Breeding BehaviorMost brown thrashers mate for life, although mate-switching is known to occur as well. Male courtship rituals involve loud singing from a perch, as well as exchanging of nesting materials with females.
Breeding SeasonFebruary-March and May-June, depending on the region.
NestingBoth females and males contribute to nest construction. Nests consist of bark, twigs, grasses, dead leaves, and other similar shrubbery. Nest construction may take up to 2 weeks, or can be done in as one day.


ColorBlueish or greenish, with brown spots.
Clutch Size3 to 5 egg(s)

Chick description

Eyes closed, naked with small tufts of grey down.


Birding Facts

Interesting FactThough the migratory range of the Brown Thrasher is entirely within North America, there have been two documented cases of one of the birds turning up in Europe, apparently after completing trans-Atlantic flights.
Best Season to ObserveSpringSummer
Observation TipsThese birds can often be found while they are in song, as they often select a perch atop a fence post or similar as they sing.


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