WatchList Species Account
for Bendire’s Thrasher |
the list as a Red List Species
|Photo: Bill Hubick
Bendire’s Thrasher, easily confused
with the often sympatric Long-billed Thrasher and even the
Sage Thrasher, inhabits sparse desert habitats in the southwestern
U.S. and northwestern Mexico. It is found in relatively open grassland, shrubland, and woodland
with scattered shrubs and trees, or spiny shrubs and
cacti. It is not found within denser habitats, such as riparian
higher elevations and at the northern end of its range, it
can also be found in sagebrush with scattered junipers. It
withdraws from the northern part of its range in the winter.
Its distribution during breeding is patchy within its range.
Bendire's Thrasher forages principally
on the ground, feeding on arthropods, seeds and berries.
Since the bird is rarely detected during
Breeding Bird Surveys, there is little information on its population
trends, but it may be expanding its range in New Mexico, perhaps
due to grazing and an increase in junipers. Some authors suggest
that its range has expanded due to clearing and agriculuture,
while others state it has declined due to habitat destruction.
Populations around Tucson have disappeared due to dense urbanization;
in California there may be a negative effect from off-road
vehicles and from harvest of Joshua Trees and other desert
plants. Better population information is needed to reach an
assessment of its true status.