The Menacing Curve-billed Thrasher

Going through old images again from the past year or more.  I decided to give some press time to this fierce looking bird.

Actually, the Curve-billed Thrasher isn’t really menacing.  But you wouldn’t believe it by looking into the adult’s eyes.  They are a bright reddish orange, and along with it’s curved bill, it looks downright mean.  Also, it’s call is a meek sounding tweet, not a growl.

I took this image of an adult nearly a year ago as it was hunkered down in some grass.

Curve-billed Thrasher - adult

Curve-billed Thrasher – adult

Last September I came across this juvenile, pictured below.  At first I thought that it may have been a Sage Thrasher.  Since it was photographed here in San Angelo, a ‘sage’ would been away from it’s usual area which is farther west.  But after looking at it closely, I found that it was indeed a juvenile Curve-billed.  Notice the paler, or yellow eyes that was one of the deciding marks of a younger bird.

Curve-billed Thrasher - juvenile

Curve-billed Thrasher – juvenile

Curve-billed Thrasher - juvenile

Curve-billed Thrasher – juvenile

Thanks for visiting my blog again.  Click on any image to see some enlargements.

Return from Big Bend – Part III

I need to digress a bit.  Actually before we entered the Big Bend National Park the previous day, we stopped at Post Park in Marathon, Texas.  It is a neat little place about 5 miles south of the city.  A small creek flows through the park, and it had

been recently stocked with 2,000 small Rainbow Trout.  There were many people there, all with their chilldren trying their luck at making the catch of the day.  So any birding activity was brief.  However, we did catch a photos of a Lark Bunting, (Calamospiza melanocorys), and a Sage Thrasher, (Oreoscoptes montanus).

After our little trip to the Rio Grande Village, we ended up staying in a little “casita” at Far Flung Outdoor Center in Study Butte.  This village

Sage Thrasher

is about three miles outside the west entrance to the BBNP.  Our room had a nice porch with rocking chairs overlooking the large courtyard that was planted with a variety of desert plants.  There were also bird feeders around and I got a nice photograph of a female Pyrrhuloxia, (Cardinalis sinuatus).

That evening we decided to eat at one our favorite night spots in the Study Butte/Terlingua area.  The place is call La Kiva, meaning ‘the cave’.  A fun delightful spot that serves excellent coussine and cold margaritas.

female Pyrrhuloxia at a feeder

That is, of course, ahem, if you indulge in that sort of stuff. 🙂  But, alas, Ann and I have mellowed in our ages and we are pretty much early birds.  After we split a 12 oz. rib-eye steak and each a margarita, we headed back to our motel.  The following morning we wanted to head to Sam Neal’s ranch for some birding.  And that, of course will be after we have a great breakfast at the Roadrunner Deli.  Frank Jones, the owner will have our coffee ready.

Sage Thrasher – Accidental Lifer

I was going through my Curved-billed Thrasher images this morning, thinking about doing a post.  As I was perusing the thumb-nails, five of them caught my eye.  I realized that those images were different from all the others.  Upon further review, and consulting my bird guides, I discovered it was a Sage Thrasher, (Oreoscoptes montanus). 

The Sage Thrasher is quite a bit smaller than the curved-billed, and has a much shorter bill.  I should have taken a closer look at them at the time, but as I always do, I download into my folders then nearly forget about them, until I accidentally come across them again, as I did this time, looking for better images of the Curved-billed.  As it turns out, it is a lifer for me, as I had never seen and identified one before.  We, in this area, are right on the eastern edge of their wintering zone.

Sage Thrasher

This image was captured in January of 2009, at San Angelo State Park.  My camera at that time was the Canon EOS 40D.  Canon 100-400 zoom lens, 1/800 sec. @ f5.6, ISO 400.  Center-weighted metering at aperture priority.