SCIENTIFIC NAME: Toxostoma longirostre
The Long-billed Thrasher is a medium-sized resident songbird of South Texas and eastern Mexico. It is a darker version of the more familiar Brown Thrasher.
The Long-billed Thrasher is a large-sized thrasher averaging 10.5–11.5 inches in length and about 70 grams in weight.
Head shows a gray crown and forehead. Nape is rather brownish-gray, joining with brown back. Chin and throat are white, bordered by dark malar stripe.
The long down-curved bill is gray, with a pale pinkish-gray base on lower mandible.
Eyes are orange to orange-yellow. Legs and feet are brown.
Both sexes are similar.
Juveniles resemble adults, but with a duller plumage, indistinct spots on the head, buff wing bars and pale eyes, rather yellow.
CALL: Includes a “tsuck” like Brown Thrasher, a mellow descending “kleak”, and a loud ascending “cheeooep”.
SONG: Includes rich various phrases repeated twice or three times.
Feeds mainly on invertebrates, such as grasshoppers, beetles and spiders. It also consumes some snails and slugs, and berries.
Lives in dense scrubby thickets, especially dense mesquite, and woodland edges along streams.
A resident in its range, from southern Texas and through eastern Mexico.
The nest is a bulky cup made with twigs, rootlets, straw and coarse woody stems. It is lined with fine roots, bark and moss. It is usually hidden in a dense thorny bush or in a low tree, at about 4 to 8 feet above the ground.
The female lays 4 - 5 pale blue eggs, finely spotted with brown. Incubation lasts about 13 - 14 days, shared by both parents. Altricial chicks hatch over a period of at least 24 hours. They are fed by both adults, first on invertebrates, and then, on some vegetable matter. Young fledge at about 12 - 14 days.