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A photo of a Curve-billed Thrasher (Toxostoma curvirostre)
Curve-billed Thrasher

Curve-billed Thrasher

Toxostoma curvirostre

The curve-billed thrasher (Toxostoma curvirostre) is a medium-sized mimid native to most of Mexico and to the deserts of southwestern United States. It is a non-migratory species, and throughout most of its range it is the most common desert thrasher. Several subspecies have been classified since 1827, though there is no consensus on the number. Allopatric speciation is believed to have played a major role in the variations of the curve-billed. It is grey-brown overall with a slightly curved bill, and is similar in appearance to the related Bendire's thrasher. It generally resides in desert regions of the United States and Mexico, but can inhabit areas predominately populated by humans. The demeanor of the curve-billed has been described as "shy and rather wild", but it allows humans to view it closely. It is very aggressive in driving out potential threats, whether competitors for food or predators of its chicks. The curve-billed thrasher sometimes mimics several other species, though not to the extent of other mimids. It has a variety of distinctive songs, and this extensive repertoire of melodies has led it to be known as cuicacoche (songbird) in Mexico.
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