English and Scientific names:

Sage Thrasher (Oreoscoptes montanus)

Number of individuals: 




Specific Locality:

Hackberry Ridge; ca. 5 miles W of Johnsons Bayou

Date(s) when observed:


Time(s) of day when observed:  

11:07-11:09 a.m.

Reporting observer and address:

Paul Conover

Other observers accompanying reporter who also identified the bird(s):


Other observers who independently identified the bird(s)


Light conditions (position of bird in relation to shade and to direction and amount of light):

Bird was close and at ground level, sun was overhead.†††

Optical equipment: 

zeiss 10s, nikon d50 w/200 mm lens.

Distance to bird(s): 

ca. 15 yards

Duration of observation:

About 2 minutes


Scrubby chenier, very arid due to drought.Bird was seen twice on the dusty road cutting across the chenier, and in the acacias flanking the main body of the chenier.

Behavior of bird: 

Ran along the road quickly, like a plover, and disappeared into the scrub.I walked closer, slowly, and it popped up into an acacia.I walked closer, taking pictures, and it flew into the next tree back, then dropped into the grasses and scrub.††


A smallish/medium-sized passerine with a long thin bill, slightly decurved, slender body, and medium-long,thin tail. Overall the bird was very drab, blending perfectly with the grayish earth of the road.Head grayish, mantle fairly evenly colored gray, no contrast with head.Wings with two distinct white wingbars, the most forward of the two formed by white scalloped edges to dark gray median coverts, the rear wingbar by whitish edges to dark gray greater coverts.Flight feathers dark grey, edged grayish about as mantle. Underparts whitish, breast and flanks heavily marked with thick dark gray streaks, streaking also concentrated on malar area.Didnít see vent/undertail well. Tail appeared slightly darker than mantle, perhaps the same as flight feathers, with white outer corners formed by white tips to 2 or 3 outer primary pairs. Legs not seen well.Bill gray-based, with Ĺ to 2/3 tipped blackish.Eye pale, orange or yellow-orange.†††††††††


not noted.

Similar species:

Northern Mockingbird unmarked below at this time of year (=none in juvenile plumage), with white wing markings forming flashes.Other thrashers much larger.American Pipit similar in color/pattern, but much smaller, dark eye.

Photographs or tape recordings obtained?

Yes, about a dozen

Previous experience with this species: 

Limited, out west.This is my second for LA, and my first was only 7 days before.

Identification aids:


This description is written from: 

Memory, photos

Are you positive of your identification? If not, explain: 



Date and time: