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Le Conte's Thrasher Toxostoma lecontei


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Le Conte's Thrasher
credit: dominic sherony/CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Mimidae, Mockingbirds and Thrashers view all from this family

Description ADULT Has pale and unmarked, sandy gray-brown plumage overall, subtly darker above than below. Note the orange-buff undertail coverts and dark tail. Has a whitish throat with discrete dark malar stripe; lores and iris are dark. JUVENILE Similar to adult.

Dimensions Length: 10-11" (25-28 cm)

Habitat Scarce resident of barren desert areas with scattered cholla cacti and bushes. Declining due to habitat degradation and disturbance; features on the Audubon Watchlist.

Observation Tips A challenge to find; a dawn visit to suitable habitat in early spring offers your best chance for observation.

Range Southwest, California

Voice Song is a series of whistling phrases, with some repetition; calls include a whistled sweeip.

Discussion Recalls Crissal, with which geographical range overlaps, but appreciably paler and marginally smaller, with shorter tail, more slender bill, and daintier proportions overall. Habitat preferences are subtly different too: Le Conte's favors rather open, sandy deserts, while Crissal occurs in dense thickets near desert streams. Secretive, but sometimes seen running for cover, tail cocked. Male sings from exposed perch in early spring, but typically briefly and at dawn and dusk. Sexes are similar.