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BIRD OF THE WEEK
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Oreoscoptes montanus
POPULATION: 6.6 million
HABITAT: Breeds almost exclusively in dense stands of sagebrush; uses other brushy habitat types in winter and migration.
The plain-looking, yellow-eyed Sage Thrasher is sometimes called the “mountain mockingbird” due to its song — a long, melodious jumble of musical notes and phrases reminiscent of the widespread Northern Mockingbird.
Like other birds dependent upon sagebrush habitats, including Greater Sage-Grouse and Sagebrush Sparrow, Sage Thrasher populations have declined as the wide-open spaces of the American West have been put to increasing human use.