Family Mockingbirds and Thrashers (Mimidae)

Least Concern

Le Conte's Thrasher (Toxostoma lecontei)


Taxonomy

French: Moqueur de Le Conte German: Wüstenspottdrossel Spanish: Cuitlacoche pálido
Taxonomy:

Toxostoma Le Contei

Lawrence

, 1851,

Fort Yuma, Arizona, USA

.

Has been suggested that race arenicola is a separate species: reportedly differs in its darker overall coloration (although material identified as arenicola in AMNH merits no score); shorter tail (sample size too small to quantify, but indicative; allow at least 1); and higher-frequency call (limited sample reaches 4–5 vs 3–3.2 kHz; if typical, at least 2); further study needed. Proposed race macmillanorum (San Joaquin Valley, in California) exhibits only minor plumage differences (e.g. crown darker, flanks lighter) from nominate; considered better merged with latter. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. l. lecontei Lawrence, 1851 – Le Conte’s Thrasher – SW USA (SC & SE California E to SW Utah and SC Arizona), S to NW Mexico (NE Baja California, NW Sonora).
  • T. l. arenicola (Anthony, 1897) – Vizcaino Thrasher – W coast of C Baja California.
  • Descriptive notes

    24–28 cm; 54·5–75·5 g, average 61·9 g. Smallest of the mainland Toxostoma thrashers, with short, rounded wings, long dark tail, long... read more

    Voice

    Song a long series of closely connected phrases with some repetition, but great variety; higher-... read more

    Habitat

    Low and open desert scrub dominated by shrubby cholla cacti (Opuntia) less than 2 m tall,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food mainly insects, including beetles (Coleoptera), grasshoppers (Orthoptera) and ants (Hymenoptera); also other arthropods, e.g. spiders... read more

    Breeding

    Breeds in desert spring, Mar–May, earlier in Colorado Valley; likely two broods over most of range, possibly single-brooded in N... read more

    Movements

    Resident on or near territory throughout year; young disperse locally over a few km.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Not common anywhere in range. Rather low densities, several pairs/km2 in good habitat. Numbers reduced through agricultural development in larger... read more