Nesting Sage Thrashers – In a Rush to Reproduce

/, Birds, Davis County, Sage Thrashers, Utah/Nesting Sage Thrashers – In a Rush to Reproduce

A Sage Thrasher with nesting materialsA Sage Thrasher with nesting materials – Nikon D810, f9, 1/800, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Yesterday I had my first opportunity to photograph a Sage Thrasher with nesting materials in its bill on Antelope Island State Park. Both sexes build their nests so I really can’t say if this is a male or a female thrasher. The thrasher did stay on top of the rabbitbrush long enough for me to create a nice series of images of it and that delighted me.

Sage Thrasher close upSage Thrasher close up – Nikon D810, f10, 1/500, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Sage Thrashers are migratory and when they arrive on their breeding territory they quickly begin to select mates, breed and rear their young. It is possible that the Sage Thrashers here in Utah have more than one brood per season. I have seen Sage Thrashers courting as late as the end of June and apparent fledglings as late as August.

The breeding season has begun and it is possible that within a month I will be seeing fledglings hopping around on the island on the boulders and bushes begging for food from their parents.

Nesting Sage Thrashers are in a rush to reproduce when they arrive here in northern Utah, I have seen them displaying within the first week of their arrival.

On another note, I saw my first of the year Northern Mockingbird on the island yesterday (no photos, it was too far away) and I am looking forward to photographing their courtship displays. Both the thrashers and mockingbirds are wonderful song birds in the Mimidae family and I quite often hear them before I see them.

Life is good.



  1. Howard April 7, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    Love the photo of the thrasher with nesting materials.

  2. Utahbooklover April 7, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    Excellent image Mia. I then went to to listen to its lovely song, and there found a nice image of the Northern Mockingbird and this comment: “Migration poorly understood; some move southward in fall, at least short distances, but some remain through winter at northern limits of range.” Good to know I might see one someday.

  3. Elephant's Child April 7, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    LOVE the subtle beauty in that plumage. Thank you.

  4. Patty Chadwick April 7, 2015 at 9:25 am

    These Sage Thrashers are such sassy-looking birds…love the contrast between bird and sage…great detail….

  5. Rick remington April 7, 2015 at 8:30 am


    You are an inspiration to me. Your passion and drive for nature is extraordinary. The first email that I look for on a daily basis is yours. I truly enjoy reading the stories and seeing the magnificent images.

    Keep up the great work!


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