The California Thrasher (Toxostoma redivivum) is endemic to coastal and foothill areas of California, extending into adjacent areas of northwest Baja California.  Yup, another California native and a sweet songster to boot!  You can hear one of their varied songs here (Courtesy of Xeno-canto, recorded by Steve Hampton, file XC70739).

I found this beauty hiking a not well known area next to the Sacramento River called Reading Island. It’s a small sliver of land with the river on one side and an inlet on the other.  The local list serve, Shasta Birders, posted a sighting of California Thrashers so I thought I’d see what I could find.

Just when I was about to give up, I heard that sweet song coming from the brush nearby.  This bird flew up into pretty heavy cover as you can see in the first photo, but eventually came up into the light for a few quick shots.

As you can see, they are a very handsome bird with that long, sickle-shaped bill.  If you haven’t seen this bird yet, I hope you get the chance someday.  They are not only a joy to listen to, they are fun to watch too!

Written by Larry
Larry Jordan was introduced to birding after moving to northern California where he was overwhelmed by the local wildlife, forcing him to buy his first field guide just to be able to identify all the species visiting his yard. Building birdhouses and putting up feeders brought the avian fauna even closer and he was hooked. Larry wanted to share his passion for birds and conservation and hatched The Birder's Report in September of 2007. His recent focus is on bringing the Western Burrowing Owl back to life in California where he also monitors several bluebird trails. He is a BirdLife Species Champion and contributes to several other conservation efforts, being the webmaster for Wintu Audubon Society and the Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Urban Bird Foundation. He is now co-founder of a movement to create a new revenue stream for our National Wildlife Refuges with a Wildlife Conservation Pass.