Monday, April 16, 2018

A Sage Thrasher visits the Farm

On this cloudy but warm afternoon, a sage thrasher visited our Littleton farm; it is the first one I have seen on the property since we bought it, 28 years ago.  Since this small thrasher prefers dry grasslands with nearby shrubs or pinon pines, I'm not surprised that he stopped by.

Spending most of their time on the ground, sage thrashers often chase grasshoppers and other insects, climbing into shrubs to feast on berries.  They breed across the sage flats of the Great Basin and Colorado Plateau, wintering on the Southern High Plains or in the Desert Southwest of the U.S. and Mexico.

Primarily migrants along the Front Range, these thrashers are identified by their yellow eyes, their relatively short and slightly down-curved bill, their dull gray upper plumage and their boldly streaked or spotted chest and abdomen.  When disturbed, as our visitor was by my close inspection today, they retreat to shrubs or thickets and repeatedly flick their tail.