Fun Crissal Thrasher Facts For Kids

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Oct 20, 2022 By Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Gowri Rao
Crissal thrasher facts about the North American bird species found in desert habitats.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.6 Min

The vastness of the sky is the residence of so many birds. The variety of birds that exist out there is beyond our imagination.

Their sizes, colors, habitats, skills, population, and the importance they hold are beyond our knowledge.

Many north American birds are responsible for keeping a check on the population of notorious pests, many are important pollinators and many have such amazing bird calls that act as therapies for various psychological issues. But altogether these thrashers add beauty to nature with their undertail coverts.

In this fact file, we will discuss such a bird viz crissal thrasher.

This North American bird is a member of the family Mimidae, the family of new world passerine birds and belongs to the genus Toxostoma, the genus of all the thrasher birds. It was first discovered and described by Thomas Charles Henry in the year 1858 and is scientifically known as Toxostoma crissale.

The habitat range of these thrashers extends across the various regions of the United States such as New Mexico, Western Texas, Southern Texas, South Mexico, Arizona, and California. Here are some of the most interesting facts about the crissal thrasher (Toxostoma crissale) that will surely intrigue you.

Afterward, do check our other articles on the Japanese robin and brown thrasher as well.

Crissal Thrasher Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a crissal thrasher?

A crissal thrasher (Toxostoma crissale) is a bird, a songbird of the new world Passeriformes from order Passeriformes. It was first discovered and described in the year 1858 by Thomas Charles Henry. A crissal thrasher is scientifically known as Toxostoma crissale and is native to various regions of the United States.

What class of animal does a crissal thrasher belong to?

A crissal thrasher species is a bird and belongs to class aves of phylum Chordata in kingdom Animalia. It further belongs to genus Toxostoma under the bird family Mimidae, the family of new world passerine birds, and the order Passeriformes, the order of songbirds. Some other thrashers include the brown thrasher, the long-billed thrasher, and the sage thrasher.

How many crissal thrashers are there in the world?

The population and habitats of crissal thrasher birds of North America are in good numbers in the regions these thrashers breed but a very small decline was seen in their numbers between 1966-2015.

According to Partners in Flight, their population and nest site count is between 200,000 globally and more than 50% are found in the USA across New Mexico, Western Texas, South Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and California.

Where does a crissal thrasher live?

Toxostoma crissale is one large thrasher bird with its habitats endemic to Southwestern US. Around  60% of their breeding population is in Texas, Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah and the remaining 40% of their population is found in Mexico. These birds are inhabitants of desert regions along underbrush, mesquite thickets, willows, and scrub oak.

What is a crissal thrasher's habitat?

A crissal thrasher species prefers warm and desert habitats across New Mexico, Western Texas, South Mexico, Arizona, and California.  These birds build their nests on dense shrubs at a height of up to 8 ft (2.4 m). Both male and females build their nests together with twigs and organic remnants.

Who do crissal thrashers live with?

Crissal thrasher birds do not live in flocks and prefer to be alone. But during the mating season, these thrashers may be seen in pairs and apart from this, they use their vocal abilities and frequently interact with others of their species in their territory.

How long does a crissal thrasher live?

With frequently lurking dangers in the wild, a crissal thrasher bird does not live a very long life in the wild. The oldest recorded crissal thrasher that was rescued and recaptured in Arizona was aged four years and five months.

How do they reproduce?

After courtship display and mating, the male bird species defend its territories where it builds its nest with its female bird. When the cowbird species lay their eggs these thrashers throw them away and lay their own eggs in them.

These eggs are blue in color and lack spots. Both parents then incubate the eggs for 14 days in the nest and then the young ones hatch out of it and leave the nest after 11-13 days. A female thrasher bird species lay around two broods per year.

What is their conservation status?

The population of crissal thrasher birds species is stable for now and according to the IUCN Red List they are placed under the Least Concern category of animals. But a slight decline in their population was recorded earlier as a result of increased industrial activities.  

Crissal Thrasher Fun Facts

What do crissal thrashers look like?

Toxostoma crissale species is a large thrasher bird with unique under tail coverts. They can grow up to a length of 1.05 ft (0.32 m).

Their eyes are dull yellow in appearance and their vocal abilities are described as sweeter and less intermittent by a bird expert Roger Peterson. Unlike others, these birds rarely fly and mostly run and walk along within their territories waggling their undertail coverts.

Their plumage and feathers have a characteristic coloring to them and enable them to easily camouflage with the ground. Their bill is curved at the end and is very dark in appearance.

These thrashers are dark grayish brown all over with a long, down-curved bill.

How cute are they?

These bird species are mostly cute but some may find them not very adorable mostly because of the length of their bill and the dull appearance of their plumage.

How do they communicate?

Crissal thrasher birds are known for their complex yet melodious songs. They have unique early morning calls also known as morning alarms, which are distinguishing and aids a bird enthusiast in spotting these birds.

How big is a crissal thrasher?

Compared to the other smaller-sized passerine birds species, a crissal thrasher grows big in length. An average adult crissal thrasher bird grows up to a length of 1.05 ft (0.32 m).

How fast can a crissal thrasher fly?

The speed of a crissal thrasher is not really known but the observations suggest that they are fast birds. Most of the time, these birds are seen walking on the ground and run when they spot a predator and not actually fly.

How much does a crissal thrasher weigh?

A large thrasher bird species weighs a little above 0.15 lb (69 g). These birds are light in weight because of the dynamic structure of their body and the lightweight plumage.

What are the male and female names of the species?

Males and females of this species do not have separate names. Males are known as male crissal thrashers and female crissal thrashers.

What would you call a baby crissal thrasher?

A baby crissal thrasher bird is referred to as a nestling and just after hatching, they are referred to as hatchlings. The adult thrasher bird throws the cowbird’s eggs out of their nests and then raises their eggs in the stolen nest.  

What do they eat?

A crissal thrasher bird has an omnivorous diet. It feeds on a variety of insects and spiders amongst the leaf litter with its bill. Besides, it also feeds on a number of fruits and their seeds with its long bill.

Are they dangerous?

They are not at all dangerous. Except when defending their territories the male bird tends to get aggressive.

Would they make a good pet?

It is not advisable to keep them in captivity unless they are provided with a proper environment in captivity just like in a bird century.

Did you know...

In the early publications in 1858, a publisher mistook the binomial name of crissal thrasher bird with a junco species while describing these birds.

Mostly these birds are permanent residents in their habitat, but during fall and winter, they tend to migrate away from breeding areas.

How does climate change affect the crissal thrasher?

A crissal thrasher bird is able to camouflage with thickets present on the ground region. Climate change may reshape the appearance of these grounds leading to the exposure of these birds to lurking predators this, in turn, may make them vulnerable to them.  

Does the crissal thrasher walk more than it flies?

These birds tend to walk more than they fly. Even when they spot predators they run fast on their two feet and only rarely fly.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these bee hummingbird facts and oasis hummingbird facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable crissal thrasher coloring pages.

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Written by Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason

Bachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason picture

Adekunle Olanrewaju JasonBachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

With over 3+ years of professional experience, Olanrewaju is a certified SEO Specialist and Content Writer. He holds a BSc in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos. Throughout his dynamic career, Olanrewaju has successfully taken on various roles with startups and established organizations. He has served as a Technical Writer, Blogger, SEO Specialist, Social Media Manager, and Digital Marketing Manager. Known for his hardworking nature and insightful approach, Olanrewaju is dedicated to continuous learning and improvement.
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Fact-checked by Gowri Rao

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

Gowri Rao picture

Gowri RaoBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

With a bachelor's degree in Economics from Krea University, Gowri is a highly skilled data analyst and an expert in regression and causation modeling. Her interests in economic trends, finance, and investment research complement her professional expertise. In addition to her professional pursuits, Gowri enjoys swimming, running, and playing the drums, and she is also a talented tutor.

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