Traveling through bird habitats that are different than what we have here around the Mississippi Valley will necessarily lead to new encounters. The dry sagebrush plaines in the San Luis Valley, not far from Great Sand Dunes National Park, are the ideal place for the Sage Thrasher. There they can find insects, other invertebrates, and berries on the ground and in vegetation.
We saw them on fences, wooden posts, and in the bushes along small irrigation channels in this high-elevation desert. Needless to say that this was a first sighting for us and it took me a while to identify this bird. The Sage Thrasher is the smallest of the thrashers. Generic studies suggest that they are more closely related to the mockingbirds than true thrashers (source: iBird Pro app).