The Cozumel Thrasher


Natural history

Status & sightings



Cozumel island

Cozumel birds

Cozumel links

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Created by Robert L. Curry

Last modified: 06 Jun 2010


Natural history of the Cozumel Thrasher


Original description


Evolutionary relationships

  • Closest relatives:      Plate showing all species of Toxostoma

    Toxostoma longirostre, Long-billed Thrasher
     Range: southern Texas to Veracruz, México

    • T. l. longirostre: Mexican states of Querétaro, Veracruz, México, Puebla
      The southernmost segment of this population is about 1100 km distant from Cozumel
    • T. l. sennetti: southern Texas and Mexican states of Tamaulipas, Nuevo León, and San Luis Potosí

    Toxostoma rufum, Brown Thrasher
     Range: eastern North America, north to southern Canada
    The southernmost breeding area for this population is about 800 km away from Cozumel, across the Gulf of Mexico.

    Brown Thrashers are not known to reach the Yucatán or Cozumel during normal migration. However, a vagrant Brown Thrasher was once discovered (and then collected) on Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles (just north of Venezuela) on 2 October 1957 (K. Voous, 1983, Birds of the Netherlands Antilles). This is the southernmost record of the species.

    T. rufum, T. longirostre, and T. guttatum constitute a superspecies (Mayr and Short 1970, Sibley and Monroe 1990, AOU 1998). T. rufum and T. longirostre appear to be more closely related to each other than either is to T. guttatum (Zink et al. 1999)

  • Next closest: Toxostoma ocellatum, Ocellated Thrasher
     Range: State of Oaxaca, México

Specimens from the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia. Photographed by R. L. Curry, 2002. References:

American Ornithologists' Union. 1998. Checklist of North American Birds. Seventh edition.

Brewer, D. 2001. Wrens, dippers and thrashers. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT.

Cavitt, J. F., and C. A. Haas. 2000. Brown Thrasher, Toxostoma rufum. In The Birds of North America, No. 557 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.

Tweit, R. C. 2000. Long-billed Thrasher, Toxostoma longirostre. In The Birds of North America, No. 317 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, DC.

Zink, R. M., D. L. Dittmann, J. Klicka, and R. C. Blackwell-Rago. 1999. Evolutionary patterns of morphometrics, allozymes, and mitochondrial DNA in thrashers (genus Toxostoma). Auk 116:1021-1038.

Ecology & behavior