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Brown Thrasher-27527-2.jpg
Brown thrasher
Toxostoma rufum
Scientific classification



Thrashers are a New World group of passerine birds related to mockingbirds and New World catbirds. Like these, they are in the family Mimidae. There are 15 species in one large and 4 monotypic genera.

These do not form a clade but are a phenetic assemblage. It is rather likely than not — though by no means robustly supported — that the sage thrasher is a basal lineage among a group also consisting of mockingbirds and Toxostoma thrashers. The Caribbean thrashers occupy varying positions in an assemblage consisting of them, the tremblers, and the New World catbirds. Here, the white-breasted thrasher appears to be quite basal though it is impossible to place it anywhere with certainty, whereas the pearly-eyed thrasher is probably quite close to the tremblers. (Hunt et al. 2001, Barber et al. 2004)

Their common name describes the behaviour of these birds when searching for food on the ground: they use their long bills to "thrash" through dirt or dead leaves. All of these birds eat insects and several species also eat berries.

Taxonomic list

Genus Oreoscoptes

Genus Toxostoma – typical thrashers

Genus Ramphocinclus

Genus Allenia – formerly in Margarops

Genus Margarops

Related Research Articles

Mimid Family of birds

The mimids are the New World family of passerine birds, Mimidae, that includes thrashers, mockingbirds, tremblers, and the New World catbirds. As their name suggests, these birds are notable for their vocalization, especially some species' remarkable ability to mimic a wide variety of birds and other sounds heard outdoors.

Mockingbird Family of birds

Mockingbirds are a group of New World passerine birds from the family Mimidae. They are best known for the habit of some species mimicking the songs of other birds and the sounds of insects and amphibians, often loudly and in rapid succession. There are about 17 species in two genera, although three species of mockingbird from the Galapagos Islands were formerly separated into a third genus, Nesomimus. The mockingbirds do not appear to form a monophyletic lineage, as Mimus and Melanotis are not each other's closest relatives; instead, Melanotis appears to be more closely related to the catbirds, while the closest living relatives of Mimus appear to be thrashers, such as the sage thrasher.

Gray catbird Species of bird

The gray catbird, also spelled grey catbird, is a medium-sized North American and Central American perching bird of the mimid family. It is the only member of the "catbird" genus Dumetella. Like the black catbird, it is among the basal lineages of the Mimidae, probably a closer relative of the Caribbean thrasher and trembler assemblage than of the mockingbirds and Toxostoma thrashers. In some areas it is known as the slate-colored mockingbird.

Catbird Group of birds

Several unrelated groups of songbirds are called catbirds because of their wailing calls, which resemble a cat's meowing. The genus name Ailuroedus likewise is from the Greek for "cat-singer" or "cat-voiced".

Sage thrasher Species of bird

The sage thrasher is a medium-sized passerine bird from the family Mimidae, which also includes mockingbirds, tremblers, and New World catbirds. It is the only member of the genus Oreoscoptes. This seems less close to the Caribbean thrashers, but rather to the mockingbirds instead.

Socorro mockingbird Species of bird

The Socorro mockingbird is an endangered mockingbird endemic to Socorro Island in Mexico's Revillagigedo Islands. The specific epithet commemorates the American ornithologist Andrew Jackson Grayson.

Tropical mockingbird Species of bird

The tropical mockingbird is a resident breeding bird from southern Mexico south to northern Brazil, and in the Lesser Antilles and other Caribbean islands. The birds in Panama and Trinidad may have been introduced. The northern mockingbird is its closest living relative, but the critically endangered Socorro mockingbird is also much closer to these two than previously believed .

Pearly-eyed thrasher Species of bird

The pearly-eyed thrasher is a bird in the thrasher family Mimidae. It is found on many Caribbean islands, from the Bahamas in the north to the Grenadines in the south, with an isolated population on Bonaire. At least two subspecies can be distinguished genetically: Margarops fuscatus fuscatus which is found between the Greater Antilles and Antigua and Barbuda, M. f. densirostris, occurring from Montserrat and Guadeloupe southwards. Its main habitat is bushes and trees in mountain forests and coffee plantations.

Trembler Genus of birds

Tremblers are a New World group of passerine birds related to mockingbirds and New World catbirds. Like these, they are in the family Mimidae. There are 2-4 species in one genus, Cinclocerthia, which is endemic to the Lesser Antilles:

Brown trembler Species of bird

The brown trembler is a species of bird in the family Mimidae. Northern birds from Guadeloupe northwards may represent a separate species from those on Dominica and St. Vincent.

Scaly-breasted thrasher Species of bird

The scaly-breasted thrasher is a species of bird in the family Mimidae found in the Caribbean Lesser Antilles. It was formerly united with the pearly-eyed thrasher in Margarops but now is again placed in the monotypic genus Allenia.

Black catbird Songbird species in the monotypic genus Melanoptila

The black catbird is a songbird species in the monotypic genus Melanoptila, part of the family Mimidae. At 19–20.5 cm (7.5–8.1 in) in length and 31.6–42 g (1.11–1.48 oz) in mass, it is the smallest of the mimids. Sexes appear similar, with glossy black plumage, black legs and bill, and dark brownish eyes. The species is endemic to the Yucatán Peninsula, and is found as far south as Campeche, northern Guatemala and northern Belize. Although there are historical records from Honduras and the US state of Texas, the species is not now known to occur in either location. It is found at low elevations in semi-arid to humid habitats ranging from shrubland and abandoned farmland to woodland with thick understory, and is primarily sedentary.

Brown thrasher Species of bird

The brown thrasher is a bird in the family Mimidae, which also includes the New World catbirds and mockingbirds. The brown thrasher is abundant throughout the eastern and central United States and southern and central Canada, and it is the only thrasher to live primarily east of the Rockies and central Texas. It is the state bird of Georgia.