The Curve-billed Thrasher
is normally a bird of the arid Southwest, and only rarely ranges outside of that
region. They are extremely rare visitors to South Dakota. They are
less shy than some of the other Thrashers, and are even a common sight in
residential areas of the Southwest, provided their favorite breeding site,
cholla cacti, are available. Of the large thrashers of the arid Southwest,
the Curve-billed is the most common and well known.
in desert habitats of the Sonoran desert, although it avoids the driest of
locations with little or no vegetation. Also found in arid
brushlands of the Southwestern U.S., and in suburban areas.
Diet: Insects and berries. Also feeds on the seeds of
prickly-pear and saguaro cactus.
Behavior: Primarily forages along the ground,
digging in the soil with its beak, turning over rocks, or chasing insects.
Breeding: Non-breeder in South Dakota. In range,
the nest is a large cup of twigs, grasses, feathers, and other material, usually
built in a cactus such as a cholla cactus, or sometimes in a shrub or small
tree. The female lays between 2 and 4 eggs, and both parents help to
incubate them. Upon hatching, both parents help to feed the young.
They will often raise more than one brood per breeding season.
Song: Repeated clear warbling
Migration: A permanent resident of the southwestern United States
and Mexico, they rarely wander outside of their normal range.
Bird Feeders: Will come to feeders for fresh fruit.
Cornell University's "All About Birds - Curve-billed Thrasher"
Photo Information: September 13th, 2006 --
Near Tucson, Arizona -- Terry Sohl
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution Curve-billed Thrasher