Birda Logo
Species Guide

Bendire's Thrasher

Toxostoma bendirei

The Bendire's thrasher (Toxostoma bendirei) is a medium-sized bird, measuring 23–28 centimeters in length. It boasts a long tail and a medium-sized bill. Its upperparts are cloaked in a grayish-brown hue, while the underparts are paler with faint, dark streaks. A notable feature is the pale base of the lower bill, complemented by striking bright yellow eyes and white-tipped tail feathers.

Identification Tips

Distinguishing the Bendire's thrasher from its close relative, the curve-billed thrasher, can be quite the challenge due to their similar coloration and structure. However, the Bendire's thrasher's shorter bill serves as a key identifier among mature birds. Juveniles may still be confused with young curve-billed thrashers, as their beaks have not yet reached full length. The yellow eyes and pale base of the lower mandible are additional markers to differentiate the Bendire's thrasher from its curve-billed counterpart.


This thrasher favors the brush-filled deserts and valleys, as well as the arid landscapes of the southwestern United States, particularly along the southern borders of Arizona and New Mexico with Mexico, including the Madrean sky islands and the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range.


The Bendire's thrasher is polytypic, with two subspecies in addition to the nominate form. Its range extends across Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, and California in the United States, and into Sonora, Sinaloa, and Baja California in Mexico. Notably, there is a record from Alberta, Canada, dating back to 1988.


The thrasher crafts a cup-shaped nest from twigs, lining it with grass stems and rootlets. Typically nestled within a cactus or a thorny desert shrub or tree, the female lays three to four eggs, which are pale green to blue, speckled with brown and purple.

Diet and Feeding

Bendire's thrashers forage for small ground-dwelling insects and supplement their diet with berries.

Song & Calls

The Bendire's thrasher, a member of the mimid family, is often silent but known to weave the songs and calls of other species into its own repertoire. Its most common call is a sharp "chek."

Conservation Status

The Bendire's thrasher is currently listed as Vulnerable. The species faces range-wide declines, primarily due to the conversion of its natural habitat into farmland.

In the quiet of the desert, one might be fortunate enough to encounter the Bendire's thrasher, a bird whose presence is as subtle as the whisper of the arid breeze. Keep a keen eye for the pale bill base and listen for the distinctive "chek" to confirm your sighting of this increasingly rare desert dweller.

Bendire's Thrasher Sounds

Recorded by: © 
App logo
Birda is a birdwatching app and community aimed at curious people who want to deepen their connection with nature.

Bendire's Thrashers on Birda


More Mockingbirds, Thrashers

A photo of a Grey Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)

Grey Catbird

Dumetella carolinensis
Birda Logo

Your birdwatching journey like never before

Connect with nature in minutes
Take a walk, look out of the window and log the birds that you see. Feel good about those little connections to nature.
Discover the joy of birding
Find new birding spots, see more birds, share and celebrate with a like-minded community of nature lovers.
Play your part in saving nature
Logging your birding sightings and sessions turns into positive action for our planet. Every sighting counts.

Birda Blog

What Our Birders Say
Ideal Birdwatch Companion
Simply adds to the enjoyment of my birdwatching and helps me record what I’ve seen.
Stewart W
Fantastic to be involved
Fantastic to be involved, great for mental health and gets you responding with the Challenges that are to takd part in.
Emma L
App got me interested in birding!
Super friendly community <3 This app got me interested in birding! It teaches me cool stuff and its super friendly, and fun :) The species guide is really developing my knowledge, and i love seeing cool new birds from round the world!
Loving it
I really enjoy being able to interact with other birders on this platform! This seems like a great way to meet other birders and find some new spots.
Alice J
Awesome Birding Community
I absolutely love the community aspect of this app. The app is so user friendly and has fun interactive challenges to get you out birding. I’ve tried others but since I’ve started using Birda I’ve not gone back!
Great app for beginner twitchers
I’ve had a passion of photographing birds for a long time now but have only just gotten into proper birdwatching, and this app is brilliant for those just getting started. There is a great sense of community among users and the app is very easy to use and professional. Awesome app altogether
Jake W
Great app
I use this app all the time as it’s quick and easy to log individual sightings or whole birding sessions. It’s an excellent way to meet new people and the forum is full of really friendly people. The challenges are a great way to get involved and learn more about birds. Cannot recommend it enough!
Unbridled Discoveries
Great app for bird lovers
I love this app! It’s a wonderful way to track birding sessions, and also connect you with fellow birders. I also really like the unidentified bird section, it’s a great community tool to help figure out what a never-before-seen bird is!
Makes you want to spot birds more
I think this app is fun. It makes you want to spot birds more so I guess in a way it encourages you to get out and about instead of sitting in front of the TV.
Erna M
I really like Birda
I really like Birda. I also use other birding apps and have Birda with E-bird going at the same time.
As featured in
AboutPressAmbassadorsAffiliatesInfluencersCareersPrivacyTerms & Conditions
An app for birdwatchers
Giving back
Connect with us
Copyright © 2024 Chirp Birding. All rights reserved.