Crissal Thrasher, Toxostoma crissale

Crissal's Thrasher
The Crissal Thrasher is a close relative of the similar California Thrasher, which
I see in my neighborhood in the San Francisco Bay Area. But there is almost no
overlap between the ranges of the two species, the California being largely confined
to coastal chaparral, while the Crissal inhabits the desert Southwest. Crissals are
 notoriously reclusive, so I was lucky to find the male pictured above and below
singing from near the top of a mesquite in the foothills of the Catalina Mountains
that border Tucson on the north. The light iris and dark chestnut undertail coverts
distinguish this bird from its California cousin; both have strikingly long curved
bills, though the Crissal's is slightly shorter.

Crissal Thrasher