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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

Le Conte's Thrasher -- Toxostoma lecontei

RANGE: Resident in the southern San Joaquin Valley of California and across the deserts east of the coast ranges and the Sierra Nevadas to southern Nevada and southwestern Utah, south to Baja California, northern Sonora, and western and south-central Arizona.

STATUS: Uncommon and local.

HABITAT: Lives in the hottest, driest, most barren deserts of the Southwest, and is most abundant in saltbush and open creosotebush deserts.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Deserts with scattered shrubs.

NEST: Builds its nest, a bulky mass of thorny twigs and sticks, usually in cholla cactus but also in other desert shrubs or trees such as mesquite, paloverde, saltbush, sage, ocotillo, and ironwood, usually 4 to 8 feet above the ground.

FOOD: Has food habits that are probably similar to those of other thrashers.

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

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