“Ecstasy on the wing” is an apt description of our brown thrasher, songbird of the Carolinas. It’s an extraordinary bird with many aliases, variously listed as a thrasher, a brown thrush, sandy mocker, song thrush or the bird old-time Carolinians referred to as the Red Mavis or French mockingbird.
As a year-round native of the Carolinas, it grows to of good size and is easy to identify. It’s our only long-tailed red-brown bird with a streaked breast. Their kin include thrushes and mockingbirds.
The brown thrashers are classed as mimics who have the ability to duplicate the sounds and tones of almost every instrument in an orchestra. They are capable of imitating violin to flute, at times even mimicking saxophone and harp, while increasing in purity and intensity with the repeating of each refrain. They can, apparently joyfully, put together an almost unlimited series of woodland exhortations and musical refrains.
The handsome thrasher prefers to present most of his concerts on the edge of dawn and in the deepening dusk. Before the sun rises, this joyful songster presents his morning serenade, and at dusk his evening serenade, both delivered in full and unrestrained voice from beneath an open bedroom window or while perched atop the neighborhood’s highest tree.