Documentation of Brown Thrasher

Observer Information

Reporter:  Sally Waterhouse  13623 County Road 261L,   Nathrop, CO  81236-7713
Other Observers: 

Species, Date, Time and Location Information

Species:  Brown Thrasher
First Date/Time:  5/6/2017 7:40:00 AM
Last Date/Time:  5/7/2017 1:00:00 PM
Duration (total time in view):  45 minutes
County:  Chaffee
Specific Location:  Mesa Antero subdivision south of Nathrop
Number:  1
Age:  Adult
Sex:  Unknown
Plumage:  Breeding


sitting in top of Ponderosa bordered by grassland (not in center of forest)

Viewing Conditions

Optics:  8x42 binoculars
Distance:  approximately 20 yards
Light:  Bright sunshine

Description of the Bird

From my ebird report:  Heard the bird singing and tracked it down to confirm. It continued to sing in the top of a ponderosa in full sunlight. Song is distinctive (I'm from Ohio so this is very familiar to me). Showed all distinguishing spotting, bill, color, etc. Bird was about 20 yards away. I had clear view with binoculars. Returned with phone 30 minutes later and recorded song.

Additional notes: Needless to say I was more than a little surprised when I heard the song as I walked out in the morning.  I did not indicate sex but one could guess male based on song, but then we do know females can sing!!  It sang continually, so easy to track down and showed it's vivid self.  I don't have a good working camera anymore but did go back to the house to retrieve my phone for a voice recording.  By then it had switched trees but had flown into a similar habitat on top of another Ponderosa 100 yds east down the road.  Shortly after noon I heard it again now more westerly.  All key characteristics clearly visible; rufous coloring, dark breast/belly spotty streaks, long tailed, somewhat curved beak.  Simply no question.   I was away later in the day and gone all day today so am not sure if it stayed around at all.

Similar Species Discussion

Mockingbird....   eliminated due to vivid rufous coloring, breast/belly streaks, and characteristic repeated phrases of song in pairs
Catbird...  as above
Any other thrush or thrasher..... song distinctive

Resources Used

Actually I didn't need any....   but I was pretty sure they don't show up in this part of Colorado and checked ebird, Breeding Bird Atlas of CO, NA Birds Online for that information

Previous Experience

I lived with nesting Brown Thrashers in the yard for 30 years in Ohio!   Also Wood thrush, Mockingbird, Catbird....    

Other thrashers do not have the distinct streaks (except the even less likely Long-billed which I have seen in Texas)   The Bendire's I've seen are much paler but I'm not as familiar with them.


Notes made AFTER observation

Materials Available

Photographer: iphone5S/S. Waterhouse

Audio |


Date Documentation Submitted

5/5/2020 3:06:00 PM
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Location Map

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