Monday, February 10, 2014

Brown Thrasher singing at Longvue; tips for identifying their song

Today at Longvue Gardens I had my singing first Brown Thrasher of the spring.  The nesting sites of this species in New Orleans have become mysteriously few in the last five or ten years- likely a Katrina casualty.  The Longvue territory is the only one I currently know of, although in recent years I have also suspected nesting at Audubon Park, in Lake Vista, and on the grounds of the Research and Technology Park at the north end of Elysian Fields.

Singing Brown Thrashers sound quite a bit like mockingbirds, but differ in two primary ways:

1- a much higher proportion of their phrases are repeated twice (vs singles or triplets).  Mockingbirds have a noticeably higher proportion of triplets.  Although this is a matter of degree, if doublets seem to dominate, it is almost surely a thrasher.

2- thrashers have a rougher, more grainy voice.  Mockingbirds are clearer.

Thrashers often sing from high in a tree- less often from  a man made structure such as a light pole.



  1. There is a brown thrasher who has staked out a spot near the WWLTV tower at Wright canal between Carol Sue Avenue and Stumpf on the west bank. I've seen a thrasher there for the past three or four years.

    I check your blog everyday - thank you so much.