At 3:42 P.M. this afternoon I was sitting in my car across from 605 NE
11th Avenue in Grand Rapids, having arrived about 3:10. The Thrasher
first flew into the apple tree in the front yard and quickly went to
the feeder in the front yard. It was on the house side of the feeder
and while I could not see it clearly, it tossed copious amounts of
seed as it fed. This was about two minutes. The bird then flew to some
shrubs inside the fence in the back yard, and was perched with its
back and left side to me as I sat in my car. The bird vocalized three
times, fairly soon after alighting. After 4-5 minutes it flew over the
intervening house and into the Cedar tree(s) in front of 601, a small
bluish house. I turned to look for it but couldn't pick it up again.
The bird was a large Thrasher, dark brown/grey on the back with a
long, darker tail. The dark beak was quite long and substantially
de-curved. I did not see any appreciable white on the face, but had
only quick views. there was subtle spotting on the breast, seen as it
flew. The iris of the eye appeared more orange to me than yellow. The
vocalizations, when compared with iBird Pro, sounded identical to the
curve billed Thrasher call (on my program, #3, the call of a bird from
Texas.) It is described as a liquid "whit-wheet" a fairly apt
description. I listened to the calls of all the other Thrashers and no
others come anywhere close to what I heard. I am certain the bird is a
Curve-billed Thrasher, on the basis of call alone, but also the eye
color, bill color and shape and overall appearance...drab brown-grey
and no striping.
     John P. Ellis-St. Paul