Brown Thrasher
(Toxostoma rufum)

Summary

Picture of bird
© Dan Busby
For additional photos and vocalizations, visit Dendroica. (Link opens in a new window.)

The Brown Thrasher is a conspicuous inhabitant of shrubby edges, deciduous forest edges and clearings along the southern edge of Canada. The Breeding Bird Survey suggests a moderate decrease in numbers since about 1970. Habitat loss and degradation are thought to be the most important causes of its decline (Cavitt et Haas 2000). This species has been identified as a priority for conservation and/or stewardship in one or more Bird Conservation Region Strategies in Canada.

Designations

Listing of the main designations for the species
DesignationStatusDateSubspecies, population
IUCN (Global)Least Concern2012 
Partners in Flight (North America)Stewardship List2012 
Wild Species (Canada)Secure2010 
Bird Conservation Region StrategyPriority Species2013 

Population status

Geographic areaStatusReliability
CanadaModerate DecreaseHigh
 

Population estimate

Canada50,000 to 500,000 adults
 

Distribution maps

 

Migration strategy, occurrence

Short-distance migrant

Responsibility for conservation of world population

CanadaLow

Conservation and management

The Brown Thrasher's decline, as with many shrub-dependent species, is thought to be due to habitat loss and degradation. More specifically, succession and maturation of shrubs and thickets in eastern forests, and the loss of woody roadsides, shelterbelts and hedgerows as a result of changes in land use and increased mechanization of agriculture in the western part of its range, have reduced the quality of available habitat (Cavitt et Haas 2000). Development and urbanization have also caused fragmentation and the loss of suitable breeding and wintering habitat throughout its range (Cavitt et Haas 2000).

 

Bird conservation region strategies

Environment and Climate Change Canada and partners have developed Bird Conservation Region Strategies in each of Canada’s Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs). In these strategies, selected species are identified as priorities for one or more of the following reasons:

  • conservation concerns (i.e., species vulnerable due to population size, distribution, population trend, abundance, or threats)
  • stewardship responsibilities (i.e., species that typify the regional avifauna or have a large proportion of their range or population in the sub-region)
  • management concerns (i.e., species that require ongoing management because of their socio-economic importance as game species, or because of their impacts on other species or habitats)
  • other concerns (i.e., species deemed a priority by regional experts for other reasons than those listed above or because they are listed as species at risk or concern at the provincial level)

Select any of the sub-regions below to view the BCR strategy for additional details.

BCRs, marine biogeographic units, and sub-regions in which the species is listed as a priority
RegionSub-region and priority type
Atlantic Northern ForestsAtlantic Northern Forests, sub-region and priority type: Quebec Region
Boreal Hardwood TransitionBoreal Hardwood Transition, sub-region and priority type: Ontario Region
Boreal Hardwood TransitionBoreal Hardwood Transition, sub-region and priority type: Quebec Region
Lower Great Lakes/St. Lawrence PlainLower Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Plain, sub-region and priority type: Ontario Region
Lower Great Lakes/St. Lawrence PlainLower Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Plain, sub-region and priority type: Quebec Region
Prairie PotholesPrairie Potholes, sub-region and priority type: Prairie and Northern Region
 

References