Curve-billed Thrasher in Flagstaff
13 Oct 2018, 11:23 AM,
Curve-billed Thrasher in Flagstaff
Roger Sleeper texted me this morning about finding a CBTH in the parking lot across the street from a baseball diamond at the intersection of Thorpe and Bonita in Flagstaff.

I met Kathryn Hart and Tom Hedwall there and literally parked below the bird.

This was a juvenile (???) bird and the similarities to Bendires was striking and we couldn't be positive about the ID till the bird started singing and calling eliminating any doubt.

An ebird first Coconino County record.

Another good one Roger!
13 Oct 2018, 3:19 PM,
RE: Curve-billed Thrasher in Flagstaff
The Curve-billed Thrasher was still present at 2:00 pm.  It was feeding on the Virginia creeper berries on the north side of the parking lot along the fence at Bonito x Thorpe.  The bird would drop over the fence into the back yard of the home then reappear atop the wooden part of the fence.  A Hermit Thrush and Western Bluebirds were also feeding on the fruit.
15 Oct 2018, 12:04 PM,
RE: Curve-billed Thrasher in Flagstaff
Fantastic find, Roger!
  In addition to being a first record on eBird for the county (as Tom pointed out), this is, in fact, a first record of Curve-billed Thrasher in Coconino. For anyone interested, the published county list as of summer 2017 can be found here:  About 27 species are found on the list that pre-date the eBird era and/or were observed by folks who don't use eBird, meaning that eBird misses quite a number of good bird records in the county.
  Back to the thrasher, there are many reports from Sedona on eBird of Curve-billed Thrasher, including some within spitting distance of the county line, but none from Coconino County. I've birded the Chavez Crossing and Chapel of the Holy Cross areas fairly regularly over the years and only seen Crissal Thrashers in those spots. I wonder about how regular Sedona-area birders feel about the abundance and distribution of Curve-billed Thrashers in the immediate Sedona area? Regardless, when I was putting together the Coconino County checklist, I speculated that Curve-billed Thrasher was likely to be one of the next additions to the county list (last paragraph here:, I honestly figured it would be below-the-rim in east Sedona, not in downtown Flagstaff!
  The bird was very amenable to photos Sunday (10/14) afternoon after a rain shower. The limited white in the tail corners, lack of wingbars, and lack of contrast between the breast spots and base color make this look like a "Western" Curve-billed Thrasher rather than an "Eastern". These two races are looming candidates to be split into separate species, so the difference is worth noting.

Flagstaff, AZ



15 Oct 2018, 2:48 PM,
RE: Curve-billed Thrasher in Flagstaff
1. curve-billed thrashers are common in the cottonwood foothills desert areas at base of mingus - super easy on chuckwalla road, nest between there and ogden ranch rd, up behind yavapai college, etc
2. i have seen them on east willow pt rd between cornville and page springs. that is closest i have seen them to coconino, but i don't bird city or voc much at all.
3. there are a couple credible reports from sedona including the buddhist stupa.
4. there are many many many reports on ebird from people i have never heard of from all over sedona and voc. who knows how many might be real of misidentified crissals.
5. but vic nelson had 2 twice on courthouse trail and 1 near the ranger station and 1 near oakcreek country club, which are pretty close to coconino county.
6. trevor had 2 south of voc this year.
7. eric gofreed has had them twice in his yard in voc.
8. so there are a decent number of voc credible reports and considering it is all good habitat from there to coconino, it would not surprise anyone who would go east of 179 into coconino.

next - i have seen abert's towhees along oak creek at chavez crossing which is about 1/2 mile from coconino as the towhee flies. we have looked along there, but i think more looking might be worth it.
rich armstrong
15 Oct 2018, 2:59 PM,
RE: Curve-billed Thrasher in Flagstaff
a) Your point #4 caught my eye as well.
b) If an Abert's Towhee shows up anywhere in Coconino County anywhere other than near Chavez Crossing, I will be surprised.
c) That's a lot of CBTH sightings from VOC and points just north/east...I bet they stray into Coconino around there, so I agree heartily with your point #8.
d) This organized list approach to posts is really fun!

21 Oct 2018, 12:50 PM,
RE: Curve-billed Thrasher in Flagstaff
Bird still present in the area along the Rio north of Thorpe Ave at noon on Sunday 21st.
30 Dec 2018, 11:44 AM,
RE: Curve-billed Thrasher in Flagstaff
Sunday Dec 30.  50 yds N of original sighting as I walked up Rio trail, and 25 yds N of original sighting when I came back.  Appeared healthy so getting along on the fruit supply.  Don't know where its been, but have to call it continuing.
30 Dec 2018, 1:43 PM,
RE: Curve-billed Thrasher in Flagstaff
Thanks for the post. An unexpected Count Week bird for the Flagstaff: Mt. Elden CBC.

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