This morning I found this brown thrasher (Toxostoma rufum) in the corn barrel in the feed room. It stared at me, but didn’t move. My father says that’s typical thrasher behavior. ‘They’re weird birds,’ he said. It even waited for me to jog to the house, grab a camera and jog back. Or maybe it thought it blended in – a new use for corn, camouflage for color-blind birds. (Note: scientists suspect birds see even more colors than humans because they have additional color receptors in their eyes.)
I snapped some photos, and still it didn’t move. So I reached down and lifted it carefully out in my hands. I’ve done this before with various wild birds that managed to get trapped in the henhouse — bluejays, sparrows, cardinals, once even a pileated woodpecker. I’d intended to set it on a shelf and give it time to get its bearings and decide to fly off. It decided halfway there and tried to bite me — no big deal. That long beak is more suited to picking up bugs than pinching down on flesh. Not like cardinals. Those cardinals can bite!