A fearless Sage Thrasher

This past week I have seen a few Sage Thrashers (Oreoscoptes montanus) on Antelope Island State Park and although none of them were close enough to photograph I know it won’t be long before I will be able to create new images of them. Seeing them reminded me of an encounter with a Sage Thrasher a few years ago that appeared to be fearless.

A fearless Sage ThrasherA fearless Sage Thrasher – Nikon D200, f6.3, 1/1000, ISO 250, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

I’ve found Sage Thrashers to be a touch on the skittish side but not this individual bird. I came across this Thrasher while using a vehicle as a mobile blind, the bird wasn’t too far from the road when I created the photograph above and although I would have preferred less obstructions the foreground I still liked this image because of the subtle colors in the bird’s plumage and the setting.

This particular bird didn’t fly off any time soon as many of the Sage Thrashers I have photographed do. Instead the bird would dash out onto the road and then disappear under the pickup. It would then scurry back to the side of the road and then proceed to run under the pickup again. As near as I can tell the Thrasher may have been finding prey on the road under the vehicle and its hunger may have overcome its fear of humans. I can’t be sure but I know I found the behavior fascinating. I wish I could have gotten images of the bird as it dashed under the pickup but it was simply too close to focus on!




  1. Susan April 7, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    Lovely post, beautiful image of a bird I may not see for quite some time. I’ll definitely be able to recognize it though when I do, thanks:)

    • Mia McPherson April 12, 2012 at 9:08 am

      Susan, I hope you will get to see a Sage Thrasher soon, they are subtle beauties.

  2. Prairie Birder April 7, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    Very beautiful photo Mia. Have a very Happy Easter!

    • Mia McPherson April 12, 2012 at 9:08 am

      PrairieBirder, thanks so much for your comment.

  3. Elephant's Child April 7, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Wonderful photos. The Sage Thrushers colouration reminded me a little of our Wattle Birds. Thank you.

    • Mia McPherson April 12, 2012 at 9:07 am

      Thank you Elephant’s Child, I adored all of the birds I saw in Australia.

  4. Laurence Butler April 7, 2012 at 3:37 pm


  5. Bob Zeller April 7, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    Great photo of the Sage Thrasher. I don’t perceive the twigs in the foreground as an obstruction. Rather I think it is just some habitat. 🙂

    • Mia McPherson April 7, 2012 at 1:14 pm

      Thnanks for your wonderful comment Bob, I appreciate them and you.

  6. Carol Mattingly April 7, 2012 at 10:48 am

    I love the markings on this bird as well. Have a wonderful Easter Sunday Mia. Carol

    • Mia McPherson April 7, 2012 at 1:13 pm

      Thank you Carol, I hope you have a wonderful Easter.

  7. Linda Rockwell April 7, 2012 at 9:11 am

    A lovely image Mia! I love thrashers. The Curve-billed Thrashers around my house have wonderful personalities! 🙂

    • Mia McPherson April 7, 2012 at 1:11 pm

      Linda, I love Thrashers too, they are fun birds to watch and photograph no matter what species they are! Thanks for commenting.

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