Crissal Thrasher

November 15, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

This individual only allowed a couple of photos before flying off.

Crissal ThrasherCrissal ThrasherUncommon and difficult to see in dense mesquite and other brush along desert washes.

It was raining during our first visit to Springs Park in St. George so we decided to revisit this birding hot spot on our way home. We found lots of interesting birds including Say's Phoebe, Snow Goose, and a variety of other waterfowl in the pond. The park's habitat is very similar to Tonaquint which is located near the Santa Clara river just a few miles away. Tonaquint has undergone significant transformation in recent years, especially after the Santa Clara river flooded, first in 2005 and most recently in 2010. In the years since the most recent event, the majority of the cottonwood trees were removed near the river, and the riverbanks were heavily reinforced with rock and wire mesh to reduce erosion. In the past couple of years, non-native brush was removed in the developed area of the park resulting in significant loss of habitat for Gambel's Quail and Abert's Towhee. Don't know if a similar fate is in store for Spring's Park, but for now, the fringes of the park sport a lot of places for birds and birding including a pond that is much larger than Tonaquint's. Located near the Virgin River, Springs Park is also bounded by homes and a large amount of acreage devoted to horses and the recreational opportunities that presumably attracts people to this spot, and birds who are interested in the insects attracted by their presence. Crissal Thrashers forage almost entirely on the ground. We were lucky to see this beautiful individual and located him in a Mesquite tree near the river only after hearing an unfamiliar call.


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