Sage Thrashers are considered sagebrush obligates meaning that they require sagebrush for some part of their life cycle and for the Sage Thrashers in Utah that means they need it during the breeding cycle. Antelope Island State Park has many large expanses of sagebrush steppe areas where the thrashers can breed. Sage Thrashers and Sagebrush just go hand in hand in my mind here in Utah.
In some areas where Sage Thrashers have bred in the past their habitat has been destroyed by ranchers tearing out the sagebrush and converting those areas to open range land. Just recently I saw a large swath of land cleared for either cattle or horses in the foothills of the Stansbury Mountains where I have seen Sage Thrashers during their breeding season. Large scale removal of sagebrush on public and private land also has a detrimental effect on other sagebrush obligates which include 8 species of vertebrates.
I adore the spicy, pungent aroma of sagebrush and every time I see a photo of a Sage Thrasher I can almost smell it. I wish computers had the ability to emit aromas for those of you who have never had the opportunity to get a whiff of sagebrush. Some people hate it but I am in the love it camp.
Wildlife Diversity in Sagebrush Habitats – University of Nevada Reno