Meet your neighbors: The Curve-billed Thrasher

By Rick LoBello, Board Member

Its been a while since I have seen one of the Curve-billed Thrashers living in my neighborhood, but the other day I am sure I heard one proclaim its presence with its loud whit-wheet whistle call.  If you pay attention to the birds near your home you probably have heard one since the call is very distinctive (watch the YouTube video below).

Curve-billed Thrashers may not be the most colorful birds of the desert, but they do have beautiful orange yellow eyes that stand out against their grayish color.  The curved bill is also very distinctive and because they are a good-sized bird reaching 11” in length, if one is not too far away you can identify it at close range.

I have a new bird feeder on my kitchen window and the first bird to find it and not be afraid of seeing me at the sink was a Curve-billed Thrasher.   Like the White-winged Doves at my house the Curve-billed Thrasher is always foraging for food almost everywhere including my trash can if the lid is partly open.

If you prefer natural controls to insects getting into your home, you definitely should be happy to see one of these birds foraging nearby.  The thrasher’s curved bill is a great tool for hunting insects including larvae, beetles, ants, grasshoppers, wasps, and many other invertebrates like spiders, centipedes, snails and sow bugs.

Photos by Rick LoBello

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