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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Bendire's Thrasher -- Toxostoma bendirei

RANGE: Breeds in southeastern California, southern Nevada, southern Utah, western New Mexico, and Sonora. Winters from central-southern Arizona to Sinaloa. Rare in fall to the southern coast of California.

STATUS: Locally common.

HABITAT: Inhabits open desert habitats, especially areas with tall vegetation, cholla cactus, creosote bush, and yucca. May also inhabit pinyon-juniper-sage communities, but tends to avoid large areas of continuous, dense brushy cover and grasslands.


NEST: Builds a compact nest in almost any of the shrubby vegetation found within its habitat, usually 3 to 10 feet above the ground.

FOOD: Spends much of its time on the ground searching and digging for food. Probably has food habits similar to those of other thrashers.

REFERENCES: Bent 1948, Phillips et al. 1964, Terres 1980, Terrill in Farrand 1983c.

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