Family Mockingbirds and Thrashers (Mimidae)

Least Concern

Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma rufum)


French: Moqueur roux German: Rotspottdrossel Spanish: Cuitlacoche rojizo

[Turdus] rufus


, 1758,

South Carolina, USA


This species, T. longirostre and T. guttatum sometimes considered conspecific. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. r. longicauda (S. F. Baird, 1858) – Great Plains from S Canada (SE Alberta E to SW Ontario) S in USA to Colorado and Kansas; non-breeding in E & SE USA (coastal Massachusetts S to Florida and Texas, N to S Illinois and Indiana).
  • T. r. rufum (Linnaeus, 1758) – SE Canada (SE Ontario E to Nova Scotia) and C & E USA (S to E Texas and Gulf Coast); non-breeding in E & SE USA.
  • Descriptive notes

    23·5–30·5 cm; 61–89 g, average 69 g. Large, long-tailed mimid with long, slightly curved bill, long legs. Crown and upperparts are rufous-brown,... read more


    Loud, exuberant territorial song consists of extended delivery of rich, fluty phrases of... read more


    Dense shrubbery, well-vegetated residential areas, woodland edge, post-fire second growth; in W of... read more

    Food and feeding

    Generalized omnivore; feeds on insects and other arthropods, gastropods, seeds and fruits. Insect consumption highest in breeding season;... read more


    Season varies with latitude; in USA, egg-laying from Apr (in SE) to late May (C); two broods typical in SE of range. Monogamous. Strongly... read more


    Short-distance migrant in N; S populations resident. N breeders winter in SC & SE USA, mostly... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common over most of range; sporadic at NW & W edges. Probably expanded its population range and density in E & NE USA with... read more

    Recommended citation

    Cody, M. (2020). Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma rufum). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 17 February 2020).