Toxostoma Bendirei – Bendire’s Thrasher

Toxostoma Bendirei - Bendire's Thrasher

Thrashers or Toxostoma bendirei in Latin, are medium-sized thrashers found in the southwest US and northwest Mexico. They are very similar in appearance to the Curve-billed thrasher and share parts of their range with that species, but the Bendire’s Thrasher differs from many other arid West thrashers by having a shorter and more straight bill than most of the others. They are members of the Mimidae family of birds.

Quick Overview: Toxostoma Bendirei – Bendire’s Thrasher
Body size: Around 9-10 in (23-25 cm) in length and weight of 62 g (2.2 oz) Main colors: Gray, Brown, Yellow, White Range: Southwestern United States
Migratory Bird: Yes
Best time of the year to see in the U.S.: All Year (January – December)
Conservation Status: Vulnerable

Bendire’s thrasher Description

 It has a long tail and a medium-sized bill. Upperparts are grayish-brown with paler, faintly dark-streaked underparts. The lower bill is often pale, the eyes are yellow, and the tail is white-tipped.

Toxostoma Bendirei - Bendire's Thrasher
Toxostoma Bendirei – Bendire’s Thrasher. Photo by: Bettina Arrigoni


These birds have a length of 9-10 in (23-25 cm) and a weight of 62 g (2.2 oz). Their wings could range from 13-15 in (33-38 cm).


Insects, seeds, and berries. Ants, termites, beetles, antlions, grasshoppers, and spiders are among its favorite foods. Feeds on grass and other plant seeds, berries, and cactus fruits, including giant saguaro fruits.


Lives in dry, semi-open habitats. Common in the Sonoran Desert with shrubs and cholla cactus with a grass understory. A grassland with scattered shrubs and yuccas.


Menstruating males sing to defend nesting territory. Nest: Usually in cholla, yucca, mesquite, acacia, desert hackberry, or other low growth, 3-10′ above ground.

Bendire’s thrasher Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Mimidae
  • Genus: Toxostoma
  • Species: Toxostoma bendirie

Best time of the year to see

These birds are commonly seeing all year round foraging in places in the United States.

Distribution of the Bendire’s thrasher in the USA

Among the desert habitats with tall vegetation and juniper woodlands in the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico are juniper woodlands in the Sierra Nevada. During the winter, northern populations congregate in southern Arizona and northern New Mexico, as well as northern and western Mexico.

The Bendire’s thrasher can be found in the following states in the United States – California, Colorado, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah.

Toxostoma Bendirei – Bendire’s Thrasher

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