23 junio, 2024

Curved-billed Thrush: characteristics, habitat, reproduction

He curved billed thrasher (Toxostoma curvirostre) is a passerine bird of the mimid family. It is also known as curved beak thrasher or cuicacochi. In general, it is a bird that is located in the group of mockingbirds and thrashers.

Of all the thrashers of the deserts of the southwestern part, the beaked thrasher is the most commonly seen. It is recognized by its “uit-uit” song, which it emits from the top of the mesquite trees.

It is a medium-sized bird that resides from the southern United States to Oaxaca in areas with semi-desert conditions. This bird is also commonly found in parks in urban areas of Mexico City. It feeds on small fruits, insects, molluscs and worms.

The conservation status of this species suggests that there has been a slight decline in the southern United States in recent decades, while it is still abundant in the west.



He Toxostoma curvirostre It is a bird that measures about 28 cm long, which is considered a medium size. It has an olive brown head and back. Its eyes are yellow-orange, and in the area of ​​its throat they have a thin brown line on the sides.

For its part, the chest and abdomen are creamy white with many olive-brown spots. Its wings have two narrow white lines. The tail of these birds is dark with white tips that can be seen in flight. The underside of the tail is pale cinnamon.

Also, the beak of these birds is black and curved. The legs are greyish. In their juvenile stage, these individuals have cinnamon-colored wings, and the spots they show on the chest are of a lighter shade.

The cuitlacoche is a bird that in the deserts it inhabits differs from other birds because its song is heard as a “uit-uit” sound from the top of the mesquite trees.

Toxostoma curvirostre is not a migratory bird. It is a bird native to the United States and extends to Mexico.

The taxonomic classification of this species is as follows:

Animalia Kingdom

Phylum: Chordata

Subphylum: Vertebrata

Class: Birds

Order: Passeriformes

Family: Mimidae

Genus: Toxostoma

Species: Toxostoma curvirostre Swainson, 1827

Habitat and distribution

The thrasher is distributed from the southern United States. It lives in areas with bushy vegetation, in grasslands, and in desert areas. It is a bird that can be found in urban parks in Mexico, and in suburban neighborhoods, in places where the cholla cactus also lives.

It is a bird that lives in places with varied vegetation such as the Sonoran desert, in dry scrub, and especially in lowlands. In Texas, this bird lives in chaparral where the prickly pear cactus grows; in addition, it can be seen in open grasslands next to groups of cholla cacti.

The altitudinal limit for the flight of this species is 3300 meters. It is estimated that it can occupy an area of ​​2860,000 km2. It is a species that has suffered a small or statistically insignificant decline over the last 40 years in North America.

For this species of bird, there has been no action recovery plan. However, a systematic follow-up scheme has been proposed. Also, in all the places it inhabits, the places have been identified.

It is not considered an invasive species, nor has it been an introduced species. It easily moves to the suburbs and cities as long as there is native vegetation, especially the cholla cactus, as it is its preferred nesting site.


Throughout the year, the pair of thrashers can be together in the same territory. In the spring, the male defends the inhabited territory with his song. The courtship of the thrasher couple is characterized by the fact that the male follows the female while she emits a soft sound.

The nest is commonly built in a fork located in some cacti, between a height of 90 cm and 1 m from the ground. Also, these nests may be in yuccas, prickly pears, low trees, thorny bushes, or on a mistletoe plant. Sometimes these birds reuse previously used nest sites.

As for the individual that builds it, probably both the male and the female work on the construction of the nest, and for this they use small and thorny branches, fine grass, small roots, animal hair and feathers, while they make a voluminous bowl. and flexible as a nest.

The eggs of this bird are light blue-green in color with small brown dots. Normally they lay 3 eggs, and sometimes they can lay 2 or 4 eggs.

Regarding the care of the eggs, it has been observed that both parents are in charge of incubation during daylight hours. However, only the female guards the eggs at night. In turn, the incubation of the eggs takes between 12 and 15 days.

Regarding the feeding of the pups, both the male and the female feed them. In conditions of exposure to the sun, the female remains in the nest, shading her young.

With the passage of 14 to 18 days after hatching, the young leave the nest. Annually these birds can have two or three clutches.


This species of bird consumes forage mainly from the ground; uses its strong curved bill to dig into the ground, stirring up fallen leaves to knock over small stones and other objects.

When digging in hard earth, it lowers its tail to the ground and hammers down hard with its beak. The thrasher feeds on small fruits, insects, molluscs, and worms.

In addition, part of their diet is also made up of insects and berries. The thrasher can feed on a wide variety of insects and their larvae. The class of insects they consume are beetles, ants, wasps, crickets, among others. In addition, it can consume spiders, myriapods (centipedes), some snails, and mealybugs.

As for plants, it feeds on fruits and seeds of cacti, as well as saguaros and prickly pears.


BirdLife International 2018. Toxostoma curvirostre. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: Taken from: dx.doi.org Mexican biodiversity. 2019. Toxostoma curvirostre. Taken from: biodiversity.gob.mx The Taxonomicon. (2004-2019). Taxon: Species Toxostoma curvirostre (Swainson, 1827) – curve-billed thrasher. Taken from: taxonomicon.taxonomy.nl Guide to Birds of North America. Curved-billed Wren Toxostoma curvirostre. Taken from: audubon.org UASLP. 2019. Toxostoma curvirostre. Taken from: evirtual.uaslp.mx

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