Brown Thrashers don't visit my yard too often, in fact I'd say its been years. Their first-ever yard visit was back in November 2003 and not too much since then. But it seemed these birds were a dime a dozen in Myrtle Beach SC when I visited there a number of years back.
Here in New York, it's a different story. The Brown Thrasher has experienced a significant decline in our state. The following maps from the NYS Breeding Bird Atlas database illustrate how, though still widespread across New York, the Brown Thrasher's distribution has become patchy and declines seen (between Breeding Bird Atlas studies) in all regions of the state.
Citation: New York State Breeding Bird Atlas 2000 [Internet]. 2000 - 2005. Release 1.0. Albany (New York): New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. [updated 2007 Jun 11; cited 2009 Jun 03]. Available from: http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7312.html
In fact, according to the Atlas, the "Brown Thrasher experienced the greatest absolute decrease in records of any species in New York State between the two Atlas periods." Habitat loss is no doubt a contributing factor but the Atlas suggests that the root cause of their decline is yet unknown.
So needless to say, I was very happy that this thrasher chose to spend a good part of the day with us. He is distinguished by his beautiful cinnamon color, long tail, yellow eye, and thrush-like breast spots.
He was seen foraging on the ground, coming out of the brush for some easy food found under the feeders. A couple times in his search for food, he raised his head and speared the ground, perhaps after an insect or maybe to break open a seed. In the second image below, he seems to be tilting his head robin-like to spot food on the ground.
Here he balks at an approaching squirrel who interrupted his foraging.
Read more about the Brown Thrasher at the Sibley Bird Guide, which is now online at enature.com.