Brown Thrasher Is The Official State Bird Of Georgia. One of Georgia‘s most fascinating songbirds, the brown thrasher (Toxostoma rufum) holds the unique distinction of being Georgia’s State Bird. Brown Thrasher was proclaimed by Governor Eugene Talmadge as the Georgia State Bird on April 6, 1935. Subsequently, upon the urging of the Garden Clubs of Georgia, the brown thrasher was named the Official State Bird by the General Assembly in 1970.
The brown thrasher, which is slightly larger than a robin, weighs approximately 2 3/4 ounces and is roughly 11 1/2 inches long. State Bird Of Georgia has a rufous-brown back, a long tail and a formidable bill that is slightly down-curved. The brown thrasher is the only long-tailed, brown-backed bird with a streaked breast found in Georgia. Males and females are colored alike.
Some writers suggest that the Georgia State Bird thrasher gets its name from its habit of twitching its tail up and down, reminiscent of a farmer hand-thrashing grain. Except in the spring, when male thrashers sing from atop tall trees, the bird is rarely seen far from the ground. Although they are strong flyers, capable of attaining speeds of 19-22 miles per hour, they seldom fly far. When on the ground, they walk, run and even hop from place to place, easily moving through the thick tangles where they feed and nest.
State Bird Of Georgia Thrashers feeds mainly on the ground, among the fallen leaves beneath shrubs and small trees. As the thrasher feeds, it flips leaves skyward. When a particularly hard food item is discovered, the bird will attack it with gusto. This commonly results in a small crater being fanned, since the thrasher does not hold the food with its feet as do blue jays and many other songbirds. The Georgia State Bird brown thrasher is a common resident throughout Georgia; however, in winter it is far less conunon north of the Fall line. Brown thrashers can be found from the Rocky Mountains eastward throughout Southern Canada and the Eastern United States.
Characteristics of the Brown Thrasher:
- Length: 10 inches
- Slender bill with a base of lower mandible yellow
- Rufous crown, nape, and upperparts
- Gray face
- Yellow eye
- White underparts with heavy black streaking
- White wing bars
- Long rufous tail
- Sexes similar
- Most often found in dense vegetation in hedgerows, old fields, and wood edges where it often forages on the ground.