Georgia State Bird
Brown Thrasher

Brown Thrasher

The Brown Thrasher is commonly found in the eastern section of the United States, ranging north to Canada and west to the Rockies. They migrate North in the Summer and spends the Winter in the Southern states.

Brown Thrashers are fairly large birds that sing loudly, but may be hard to see clearly as they tend to stay in thick cover such as shrubs and thickets.

  • Official Georgia State Bird Name: Brown Thrasher
  • American Ornithologists' Union Common Name: Brown Thrasher
  • Family: Mimidae, Mockingbirds, Thrashers
  • Scientific name: Toxostoma rufum
  • Length: 11.5" (29 cm)
  • Diet: Omnivore; insects, invertebrates, small vertebrates; berries, fruits, nuts
  • Voice: Song of rich, musical phrases, each repeated 2 or 3 times with pause between each set; no other species has such clearly paired rhythm; often gives partial phrases such as whichoo-which. Calls include a loud, sharp chak like Fox Sparrow; a low toneless growl  chhr; a sharp tsssuk; a rich, low whistle peeooori or breeew.
  • Habitat: Common in hedgerows, brush, woodland edges, thickets, shrubbery, thorn scrub; often close to human habitation
  • Displays: Courtship: male song elicits female response of picking up twig and hopping to male, fluttering wings vigorously and chirping; male may pick up dead leaves and hop to female.
  • Number of broods: 2, rarely 3
  • Nest: On ground mostly in east, also in vines or small tree (2-5' above ground); made of twigs, dead leaves, grass, usually lined with grass, rootlets.
  • Eggs: Averages 4-5 pale bluish-white eggs, occasionally greenish, spotted with reddish-brown. 1.0" (26 mm).
  • Incubation period: 11-14 days
  • Fledge: 9-13 days after hatching
  • Longevity Record: 10 Years and 11 months (according to USGS Bird Banding Lab)

Brown Thrasher Singing

Brown Thrashers mimic the songs of other birds. One theory proposes that it takes a male with lots of experience to learn many songs and a large repertoire of songs empresses the females. See how many different bird songs and calls you can recognize.

Brown Thrasher Nest

This Brown Thrasher is obviously nesting in a shurb in a neighorhood.

On April 6, 1935, the Brown Thrasher was first chosen as the Georgia state bird by official proclamation of the Governor. In 1970, at the request of the Garden Clubs of Georgia, it was designated by the Legislature as the official state bird.

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