Tag Archives: pearly-eyed thrasher

A St. John Thief: The T’rushie Bird

Pearly-eyed thrasher
Thrushie in Mango Tree

The t’rushie bird is a teef! (For those of you who don’t know the word, teef: it’s St. Johnian for the noun, thief, as in one who steals, like in the t’rushie’s a teef. It can also be used as a verb meaning to steal like in the t’rushie teefed my mangoes.)

Anyone familiar with the thrushie or pearly-eyed trasher, or scientifically, Margarops fuscatus, and who has a fruit tree in their yard knows what a teef the thrushie is. The bird will hang around open air restaurants and steal the food off your plate if you’re not looking. On St. John, the outdoor Caneel Bay Beach Restaurant and the Trunk Bay snack bar have lines and wires placed to discourage the thrushies, but that doesn’t mean that it’s 100% successful in preventing the larcenies.

Not only does the thrushie steal from people, but it also steals from other birds, like taking their nests or eggs.

Thrushies live on the smaller islands of the Caribbean and the Bahamas and avoid the continent and the larger islands, with the exception of some remote areas of Puerto Rico. They are ugly. They build ugly sloppy, messy nests wherever they want, have an annoying sound and are general nuisances.

My mango tree is full of mangoes and the t’rushies are lying in wait hoping to get the ripe ones before I do. It will soon be war.

St. John Weather

Scattered showers, mainly before noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 82. East wind 9 to 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

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St. John Fauna: Pearly-Eyed Thrasher


St. John birds: Thrushie
Pearly-Eyed Thrasher (Margarops fuscatus), aka Thrushie Bird

Pearly-eyed thrashers have been described as aggressive and opportunistic. The one in the above photo was waiting for a waitress to step away from a plate of food so that it could descend and steal a bite or two before someone chased it away.

The t'rushie gets my mango

I’ll most likely be fighting my own battle with the Thrushie, which will be coming up when my mangoes are just about ready to eat. My mango tree is in flower and baby mangoes are beginning to form. It looks like a good mango year for both me and the t’rushie dem.

The not so melodic call of the thrushie – Turn Volume Up (mp4)

The not so melodic call of the thrushie – Turn Volume Up (mov)

St. John Live Music Schedule Tuesday March 20

Castaways – Karaoke Night – 9:00 – 777-3316
Driftwood Dave’s – Michael Beason – 8:00 – 777-4015
High Tide – Erin Hart – 6:00 – 9:00 – 714-6169
Island Blues – Karaoke & Open Mic – 8:00 – 11:00 – 776-6800
Morgan’s Mango – Greg Kinslow – 6:00 – 9:30 – 693-8141
Ocean Grill – Rascio on Steel Pan – 6:00 – 9:30 – 693-3304
Shipwreck Landing – Chris Carsel  – 6:30 – 9:30
Spyglass – T-Bird – 5:00 – 8:00 – 776-1100

See Weekly Schedule

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