Thrasher Bootcamp

After working the Gilbert Water Ranch, we headed over to the Phoenix South Mountain Park. Bill had heard that Bendire’s Thrashers could be found near the horse stables and sure enough we soon located two thrashers. The question was which species were they? Bendire’s or Curve-billed? I’ve got field experience with Bendire’s but haven’t looked for one in close to ten years and not since David Sibley’s field guide was published. I’ve always relied on overall size, bill length and eye color to separate Bendire’s Thrasher from Curve-billed Thrasher. All of these are subtle and immature Curve-billeds have shorter bills. Sibley points out three additional field marks for Bendire’s 1) “small triangular spots on the breast”- 2) the bill is usually pale at the base and 3) buffy-brown flanks.

Bendire's Thrasher - Phoenix South Mt. Park

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