Tom Brown grew up in the high desert area of Central Oregon. His love for birds and photography started at a young age. Thru the course of time, travel, and a lot of different occupations, he ended up living in Seattle, and met a girl with a sailboat. They’ve been traveling and bird blogging the world ever since! This is Tom’s second contribution to 10,000 Birds, following the riveting description of his great hummingbird nest heist:

The Gray Thrasher, one of the endemic species of the “The Baja,” has become one of my favorite birds to photograph. My first experience with this bird was near the fishing village of San Evaristo, on the Sea of Cortez, 50 miles north of La Paz, Mexico. We sailed into this beautiful little bay, set the anchor and I was quickly headed for shore to see what birds I could find. I was first attracted by the amazing range of sounds made while singing….whirring, chirring….just a beautiful melody, on an early morning in the Mexican desert. Then when I was able to track down the origin of all this sound, the attraction was solidified!

Gray Thrasher cinereum

The Gray Thrasher is a 10” bird, with brownish head and upper body parts, two white wing bars, and a whitish throat and breast. The breast is streaked with elongated black marks, almost in a triangle shape. But, without a doubt, the most stunning part of this bird for me is the golden yellow eyes! In just the right light, they seem to glow.

Gray Thrasher perched

There are two sub-species of the Gray Thrasher, the Toxostoma cinereum, and the more northern bird (north of 20° N) mearnsi (in the feature photo) which only real discerning feature being a slightly heavier streaked breast. As of a few months ago, there was a sighting of a meransi across the US/Mexico border and up into the San Diego area. It was spotted by several birders at the Famosa Slough, on August 2nd of 2015. This is over 100 miles from its northern most previous sighting. I guess he was just going north for a short vacation!!

Gray Thrasher looking good

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