A NEW BIRD SPECIES FOR ABACO: BROWN THRASHER
The third new bird species this year has been found on Abaco by bird authority Woody Bracey. After the excitement of 6 BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING DUCKS in June and a FORK-TAILED FLYCATCHER in October comes the very recent sighting (with photos) of a BROWN THRASHER, hitherto unrecorded for Abaco. It was seen near Treasure Cay, at the site of a derelict restaurant.
The Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma rufum) belongs to the same family that includes mockingbirds and the catbird – Mimidae. Its normal range includes Florida where it is resident, so there’s only 200 miles of ocean to cross to reach Abaco. Easier still with a stop-over on Grand Bahama. However I’ve checked for other Bahamas sightings, and so far I have found one recorded for Grand Bahama, and one for Eleuthera. So this first sighting on Abaco is possibly only the third for the Bahamas, suggesting that the Thrasher is generally not a great adventurer.
BESIDES ONE BIRD VISITING ABACO, WHAT’S INTERESTING ABOUT THE THRASHER?
- They are known to have more than 1000 types of song, one of the largest bird repertoires
- They repeat phrases 2 or 3 times before moving on to another (somewhat like Mockingbirds)
Rick Wigh / Xeno Canto
- They are omnivorous, eating insects, snails, worms etc; and balancing that with fruit, seeds and nuts
- They are shy birds, but can be very aggressive when defending territory or a nest site
- They used their slightly decurved beaks to thrash around under leaves and ground debris as they forage – hence the name
YES INDEED, BUT IS THERE ONE REALLY MEMORABLE FACT ABOUT THEM?
- OK. Their necks are extremely flexible and they have more vertebrae than camels or (get this!) giraffes.
Credits: Judi Howle, Manjith Kainickara, Anon (wiki), Woody Bracey, Ken Thomas; Wunderphoto, Wiki, Xeno Canto