Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2021-14

Common name:

Bendire's Thrasher

Scientific name: Toxostoma bendirei
Date: 3/6/2021
Time: 0945
Length of time observed: 1 minute
Number: 1
Age: Adult
Sex: Unknown
Location: Beaver Dam Slope, closer to blacktop
County: Washington
Distance to bird: 25 meters
Optical equipment: Vortex 8x42
Weather: Sunny and fine
Light Conditions: sunny
Description:        Size of bird: Large thrasher
(Description:)       Basic Shape: thrasher shaped
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: overall brown
(Description:)            Bill Type: shorter, slightly curved bill
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
The first thing that stuck out to me was the size, behavior, and the overall color of this bird. Bird was a good deal larger than more common sage thrasher. Bird was warm brown overall, with some white and brown streaking on chest; solid brown flanks with no streaking; and lighter undertail coverts. Bird was observed running on ground with tail cocked at 90 degree angle, and was going back and forth between two creosote bushes, searching on ground, before running north and out of view.
Song or call & method of delivery: Bird did not sing or call
Behavior: Running on ground, searching near base of creosote bush. Tail cocked up at 90 degree angle
Habitat: Desert scrub, joshua tree, creosote, cholla
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Elimination: Sage Thrasher: Much larger, overall brown with dark unstreaked flanks and belly, behavior was that of Bendire's

Crissal Thrasher: Smaller bill; brown and not gray; no rufous undertail coverts.

Brown Thrasher: I eliminated Brown due to less likely range, but this bird was not rufous, and had solid brown belly and sides.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
Extensive experience with Sage Thrasher while doing breeding bird surveys in northern colorado plateau over a decade. No previous experience with Bendire's.
References consulted: Sibley 2nd edition, iBird Pro
Description from: From memory
Observer: Carl Ingwell
Observer's address: Ogden, Utah
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Alex Schiwal
Date prepared: 3/7/2021
Additional material:  
Additional comments: none