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Brown Thrasher Photos

Photography by Terry Sohl

My Favorite: Brown Thrashers are a species that often make their presence known, through their voice. But they're also skulkers, denizens of brush and thickets, often seen foraging but then darting into cover when approached. Thus, while they're a pretty common bird here in the summer, I don't have a huge number of photos. My favorite photo is the one below, from May 2020 at Newton Hills State Park

It's also a photo where I give full credit to modern technology! I normally don't put a lot of stock into the role of the equipment, in terms of getting a good bird photo. The biggest challenge typically isn't the photography's getting close enough to the bird. But in this, technology gets a big assist! This was a VERY gloomy, drippy, early morning. The light was so poor, that even with the camera I had prior to my Canon 90D and 100-400mm IS lens, I don't think I would have bothered trying this shot. There simply wouldn't have been enough light, to get enough shutter speed. The photos would have been blurry, without a doubt. But here, the Canon 90D's performance in low light is quite good, with the ability to dial up the ISO to a pretty high level, and still get a very good quality photo without grain. This was taken at ISO 4000, which on my old camera, would have resulted in an extremely grainy photo. The lens certainly helped to, as the IS (Image Stabilization) greatly improves your chances of getting a sharp shot, despite low light and a quite low shutter speed. Thank you modern technology for my favorite Brown Thrasher photo!

Brown Thrasher - Toxostoma rufum

Brown Thrasher 1 - Toxostoma rufum

Brown Thrasher 2 - Toxostoma rufum

Brown Thrasher 3 - Toxostoma rufum

Brown Thrasher 4 - Toxostoma rufum

Brown Thrasher 1 

Brown Thrasher 2 

Brown Thrasher 3 

Brown Thrasher 4 

May 19th, 2006 

June 12th, 2006 

May 20th, 2008

July 5th, 2010 

Big Sioux Recreation Area, South Dakota 

Beaver Creek Nature Area, South Dakota 

Big Sioux Recreation Area, South Dakota

LaCreek National Wildlife Refuge, South Dakota 

Brown Thrasher singing at the top of a locust tree 

Single bird posing on dead tree branch 

Thrasher with freshly caught beetle breakfast 

Juvenile bird hiding in cattail marsh 

Brown Thrasher 5 - Toxostoma rufum

Brown Thrasher 6 - Toxostoma rufum

Brown Thrasher 7 - Toxostoma rufum

Brown Thrasher 8 - Toxostoma rufum 

Brown Thrasher 5

Brown Thrasher 6

Brown Thrasher 7 

Brown Thrasher 8 

May 13th, 2014 

May 13th, 2014 

May 13th, 2014 

May 16th, 2020 

Brandon, South Dakota 

Brandon, South Dakota 

Brandon, South Dakota 

Newton Hills State Park, South Dakota 

Grumpy thrasher posing in a crabapple tree 

Spring foliage and Brown Thrasher

Brown Thrasher at bird feeder 

Profile of bird foraging on edge of a hiking path 

Brown Thrasher 9 - Toxostoma rufum  Brown Thrasher 10 - Toxostoma rufum  Brown Thrasher 11 - Toxostoma rufum  Brown Thrasher 12 - Toxostoma rufum 

Brown Thrasher 9 

Brown Thrasher 10 

Brown Thrasher 11 

Brown Thrasher 12 

May 16th, 2020 

July 12th, 2020 

July 12th, 2020 

July 5th, 2020 

Newton Hills State Park, South Dakota 

Minnehaha County, South Dakota 

Minnehaha County, South Dakota

Hughes County, South Dakota 

Thrasher posing on dead tree branch 

Bird on wooden fence post with freshly caught breakfast 

Thrasher with earthworm breakfast 

Brown Thrasher posing on a barbed wire fence 

Click here for the species description page for the Brown Thrasher.

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