April 24, 2021
While walking past the entrance to the service area to the Red Wolf enclosure I noticed movement in the tall grass on the edge of the driveway, a fledgling bird. A watchful nearby adult bird confirmed it was a brown thrasher fledgling. The adult herded the youngster under a shrub.
This is a dangerous time for a young bird, new to the outside world, out on the ground, barely able to fly, and no experience with anything other than being beak-fed by parents for nearly two weeks.
Brown thrashers are part of a tidy trio of birds here in the east known as mimic thrushes which includes mockingbirds, catbirds and of course, brown thrashers. They’re all expert singers.
The mockingbird is the long-winded songster of the three, going on sometimes for hours at a time, often repeating phrases half a dozen times. The catbird, while melodious, has a squeaky quality to its singing and sometimes does and sometimes doesn’t repeat the phrases in its repertoire. Catbirds also meow like a cat. Thrashers, in my opinion, are the sweetest of the three singers, more musical, and they usually sing each phrase twice, repeated one after another, throughout their song.
It looked as if there may have been two fledglings under the bush. The adult was keeping a sharp eye on them both, as well as watching Ranger Martha, Volunteer Sam, and me, watching them.
We humans moved on to give them the space they needed.