Peeking In

Note the spines of the cactus sheared off near the nest

I saw the nest from the trail and wandered over to have a closer look.  It was tucked up inside a wickedly prickly Jumping Cholla.  The nest was only a couple of feet off the ground and when I peeked in I was surprised to see three lovely turquoise eggs, spotted with brown.  Curved-bill Thrasher eggs.  I took one picture and hurried away.  Surely a parent was nearby.

I photographed a Curved-bill Thrasher carrying a twig back in the middle of March.  This pair must be starting a second brood.  Couples mate for life.  When nest building, they work together on an outer nest of thorny twigs. Then the female shapes the soft grass lining.  Both parents work to keep the nestlings fed, and even after they leave the nest, the youngsters will rely on mom and dad. The parents continue to feed their young and teach them to find food for several more weeks. 

Curved-bill Thrashers forage on the ground, probing with their beaks among plant litter and in the soil for insects and seeds.  They also eat cactus fruits, seeds and nectar.

The two note whit whee call of this common bird is familiar to desert dwellers.  Thrashers are songbirds, relatives of mockingbirds.  Their song is a soaring, crystal clear serenade, often sung at daybreak and dusk.

A thorny protective nest site
Curved-billed thrashers obtain moisture from juicy saguaro fruits and flowers
It all starts with a single twig

2 thoughts on “Peeking In

  1. Hi Gail,
    The Curved-Bill Thrasher is my favorite songbird. I didn’t realize they were relatives of Mockingbirds. Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures and facts.
    Happy Trails!
    Judy D.


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