Birda Logo
A photo of a California Thrasher (Toxostoma redivivum)
California Thrasher

California Thrasher

Toxostoma redivivum

The California thrasher, Toxostoma redivivum, is a robust bird, the largest of its kin, with a length of about 32 cm (13 in) and a weight reaching 90 g (3.2 oz). It boasts a long, downward-curving beak and an elongated tail. Its plumage is a deep grayish brown with olive hues on the tail, and it sports a grayish buff supercilium. A dark cheek pattern and eye line contrast with its dark eyes, a feature that sets it apart from most thrashers. The underparts are a warm buffy to tawny brown, with the upper breast and flanks a smoky gray.

Identification Tips

To identify the California thrasher, look for its long, decurved bill and lengthy tail. Its overall deep grayish brown coloration with olive tones on the tail and a grayish buff supercilium are distinctive. The dark eyes are a key feature to distinguish it from other thrashers.


The California thrasher is a year-round resident of chaparral habitats, sagebrush, juniper bushland, and riparian and oak woodlands with dense understory. It can also be found in suburban parks and yards with sufficient cover. It typically resides up to elevations of 1,600 m (5,200 ft), and in southern California mountains, it may be found as high as 2,000 m (6,600 ft).


This species is endemic to California in the United States and extends into northwestern Baja California in Mexico. It is found from Santa Cruz and Placer counties in California southwards, with two subspecies showing slight overlap in their ranges.


The California thrasher is elusive, often remaining hidden in dense cover. When it does emerge, it moves swiftly on the ground with its tail held high. It is known for its distinct foraging behavior, spending much of its time on the ground beneath the shelter of dense vegetation.

Song & Calls

The California thrasher is a remarkable vocalist, known for its exuberant and varied song that includes imitations of other species. Both sexes sing, often from exposed perches, delivering phrases that are repeated with vigor. The bird also has a range of calls used for communication and exhibits sensitivity to song syntax, which is important for territorial defense.


Breeding season for the California thrasher typically runs from February to July, with some starting as early as January. The species may raise two broods per season. Both sexes contribute to nest building, which is an open cup structure hidden in dense shrubs. Clutch size is usually three to four eggs, with both parents involved in incubation and feeding of the young.

Diet and Feeding

The California thrasher primarily forages on the ground, using its bill to sift through leaf litter and soil. Its diet consists mainly of insects and invertebrates in the spring, supplemented by small soft fruits for the rest of the year. It is often seen foraging under cover but may feed in more exposed areas when consuming fruits.

Conservation status

The IUCN has classified the California thrasher as Least Concern. It has a very large range and population, with only a minor decline observed in recent decades. The primary threats to its habitat include fragmentation and conversion.

California 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.

California Thrashers on Birda


More Mockingbirds, Thrashers

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
Bryan C
Clean and easy to use
Really enjoying this app, it's clean and easy to use. I love the ease of being able to add those one-off birds without starting a whole checklist. I also like the social aspect, like the parts of my Facebook I like, without the ads and junk, just birds. Can't wait to see it become more populated.
Really great app
It’s easy to use and it’s fun to log the birds you notice on a walk or just in your garden. There’s a option to record the birds you see in a session which is really nice. Good excuse to stop for a while and just watch birds. I am also enjoying the information part where you can find out fact about birds from all over the world.
Fantastic app - Love it!
Love this app and have used it almost daily. Lots of species information and easy to use. Love seeing birds spotted by other users in the UK and worldwide.
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!
David C
Very knowledgeable group
Nice friendly birding community. Very knowledgeable group with a willingness to help.
Great bird recording
For a while I’ve been trying to find an app to easily record bird lists and day out and struggled to find one that I like. Birda is great for this, straightforward and a great community!
Awesome App
I really enjoy using this app! It is such a friendly community of bird-lovers who are happy to help if I need ID advice. It’s been great motivation to get outdoors and go birding more! 10/10 😍😍
Amylia S
Best app for any birding person!
I love this app!! I am so addicted to it when I saw it had 3 star review I was so sad! The app is awesome!! The best app for any birding person! ❤️
Louise L
Easy to use and accurate
Love this app. It is easy to use and accurate, Their backup communication is really good. I noted a missing species. All through the process, I was kept informed about the progress in correcting the information. I now have the corrected, updated version. 😁 Thanks!
A mordern game changer
Birda is an awesome app, its updated the world of birding to the modern day with a fun and easy to use app. It’s engaging and allows positive interaction with fellow bird lovers!
As featured in
Connect with nature,
Find your flock
Download Birda - QR Code
© 2024 All rights reserved