Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2009-04

Common name:

Brown Thrasher

Scientific name: Toxastoma rufum
Date: October 1, 2004
Time: mid - afternoon
Length of time observed: 2-3 minutes
Number: 1
Location: Twin Springs, Bishop Springs Marsh, Snake Valley
County: Millard
Latilong: 9
Distance to bird: 5 m
Optical equipment: 10 x 42 binoculars
Weather: clear and windy
Light Conditions: sunny afternoon
Description:        Size of bird:  
(Description:)       Basic Shape:  
(Description:)  Overall Pattern:  
(Description:)            Bill Type:  
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Brown Thrasher (Toxastoma rufum)
Twin Springs, Bishop Springs, Snake Valley, Millard County, UT
October 1, 2004
With Larry Tripp and Lu Giddings

Larry, Lu, and I were birding through the West Desert stopping to look for migrants at several springheads in Snake Valley. At Twin Springs, we split up and I was walking along the Russian olives lining the outflow of east Twin when I flushed a Brown Thrasher from the last olive tree before the outflow entered Bishop Springs Marsh. The bird moved to another Russian olive between the east and west outflows and Larry and Lu were also able to watch the thrasher. We managed a few photos before it flew back to the olives around west Twin Spring.

Large thrasher, with long bill (although relatively short for a thrasher), rufous upperparts, and pale underparts with dense streaks from throat to lower breast. Upperparts bright rufous brown from crown of head down nape, across back, rump and upperside of tail. Wings also rufous with two distinct white wingbars. Underparts creamy white with bold dense dark brown streaking extending down the sides, less dense forming individual spotting across center of breast. Lower belly unmarked white and undertail coverts unmarked light brown. Face light brown with yellow eye. Bill with dark culmen and gray lower mandible. Black legs. Long square tail; dark brown on underside and rufous on upperside.
(see photo)
Song or call & method of delivery: none
Habitat: Russian olives lining spring outflow surrounded by sarcobates flats and pickle barrens.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Distinguished from western Toxastomas by rufous upperparts and bold streaking on the underside. Similiar to Long-billed Thrasher, but distinguished by rufous rather than brown upperparts and lack of streaking on undertail coverts.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
References consulted:  
Description from: Notes made later
Observer: Rick Fridell
Observer's address: Hurricane, UT
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Larry Tripp, Lu Giddings
Date prepared: 03-26-09
Additional material: Photos
Additional Comments: description is copied from field notes compiled a few days following sighting