The Smacking Calls of Brown Thrashers

A little before 10:30, I started out for a walk, passing a Northern Flicker that flew up from the grass, flashing its white rump patch. Although some Flickers are year-round residents here, at this time of year their numbers increase, as migrants arrive for the winter from further north.

I also passed several Brown Thrashers all along the way. For some reason, they seemed to be everywhere – and many were calling in a loud, sharp djak! Several perched in treetops, others called from shrubs, and in the old field, at least five or six different Brown Thrashers called from trees and weedy bushes. It may be that, as with the Flickers, more Brown Thrashers arrive here for the winter months, and – here I am just imagining – maybe some of them arrived recently – maybe even just last night as the cold front moved in – and their calls are part of settling in and establishing winter territories and relationships.

Phoebes and Bluebirds also were active, along with Downy and Red-bellied Woodpeckers and one Pileated Woodpecker, Blue Jays, Crows and House Finch.

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