Common Name: Crissal Thrasher
Scientific Name: Toxostoma crissale
Order/Family: Passeriformes/Mimidae (Mimic Thrushes)
Description: The Crissal Thrasher grows to 13 inches (32 cm), and has a deeply curved bill. The eyes are dull yellow. The bird seldom flies in the open. As such, the crissal thrasher rarely flies, preferring to walk or run around its territory and will mostly run for cover when disturbed by a potential predator. The bird’s name is derived from the characteristic bright coloring, in contrast to the balance of its plumage, of the area between its tail and vent—a region known as the crissum.
Distribution: Southwestern United States (western Texas, southern New Mexico, southern Arizona, southeastern California, extreme southern Nevada, and extreme southwestern Utah) to central Mexico.
Habitat: It can be found near desert streams in dense underbrush, mesquite thickets, willows, scrub oak, high elevations in manzanita, and in the low desert near canyon chaparral.
In lower elevations, the nesting season begins as early as January, with first eggs laid in February, whereas birds at higher elevations may begin nesting in April. Nesting activity continues into July in some areas. The Crissal Thrasher defends its nest year round and enjoys voicing its call from the top of quail bushes.