From Timid to Territorial

Saturday afternoon I took advantage of a free chunk of time and sat outside in my backyard – camera in hand, or course.

It wasn’t long before a young Brown Thrasher showed up to provide the afternoon’s entertainment. At first he was a rather timid fellow. He landed on top of the fence rail and sat there for quite some time surveying his surroundings. Whenever another bird approached, he would flinch and look a bit intimidated.


After he sat and looked around for awhile, he decided to stand on one leg. I’m not sure what that was all about. If I hadn’t already been watching him I would have thought he was injured.


Before long he grew bored of his one leg balancing act and he flew from the railing and began to investigate the pile of logs beneath him. He hopped from one to another, pecking at the loose bark with his sharp beak.



Getting braver by the minute, he soon ventured to the edge of the birdbath and helped himself to a refreshing drink.


He didn’t stay long though, because a male towhee arrived and helped himself to a rather boisterous bath.


The young thrasher watched from a nearby bush, and must have taken notes because when the towhee left, he returned to the birdbath and this time didn’t settle for just a sip of water. He splashed about with great gusto, clearly enjoying himself. He was quite comical to watch.



When he finished bathing, he perched on the edge of the birdbath with his beak slightly parted and proceeded to chase other birds away. It was obvious he was guarding this area he had decided to claim as his own, letting other guests know they were no longer welcome.



In my short time outside, I watched this young thrasher transform from timid to downright territorial as his instincts kicked in. His antics were the highlight of my weekend.


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