Several kinds of dull gray-brown thrashers occur in the West, but this is the only one along the California coast. The bird's normal range is limited to California and a corner of Baja, but within that range it is quite common in the chaparral, even coming into brushy suburbs. It spends most of its time on the ground, walking and running with its tail often held high, stopping to dig in the dirt with its sickle-shaped bill.
Forages mostly on the ground, using its heavy curved bill to flip leaf-litter aside and to dig in the soil.
3-4, sometimes 2. Pale blue, evenly spotted with pale brown. Incubation is by both parents, about 14 days. Young: Both parents feed nestlings. Young leave the nest after about 12-14 days, are unable to fly well for several more days. Male may care for young from 1st brood while female begins laying 2nd clutch. 2 broods per year, perhaps sometimes 3.
Both parents feed nestlings. Young leave the nest after about 12-14 days, are unable to fly well for several more days. Male may care for young from 1st brood while female begins laying 2nd clutch. 2 broods per year, perhaps sometimes 3.
Mostly insects and berries. Feeds on a wide variety of insects, including ants, wasps, bees, beetles, caterpillars, moths, and many others. Also eats some spiders and centipedes. Berries and small fruits are important in diet, and eats seeds, acorns, and other plant material. Will come to bird feeders for miscellaneous scraps.
Pairs may remain together on territory all year. Male sings to defend nesting territory, usually from top of shrub or tree; song often includes imitations of other birds. Nest: Placed in a dense shrub or extensive thickets, less than 10' above the ground, usually 2-4' up. Nest (built by both sexes) is a bulky open cup of sticks and twigs, lined with fine grass, weeds, rootlets, strips of bark, and other soft items.