One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A large grey thrasher (songbird) with a red patch under the tail, found in the south-western US and Mexico.
Toxostoma dorsale or 'crissale', family Mimidae
- ‘The most prominent feature of the crissal thrasher is its very distinctive long curved bill.’
- ‘You needn't go as far as the state park and trail areas if all you hope to see are roadrunners and a few other desert species such as cactus wrens, pyrrhuloxia, crissal thrashers and verdin.’
- ‘The crissal thrasher is mostly a uniform grayish brown, with a long, dark tail and a very long, decurved bill.’
- ‘Keep your eyes peeled for verdins, crissal thrashers, black-throated sparrows, Abert's towhees, and black-tailed gnatcatchers, to name but a few.’
- ‘There you can find nesting the crissal thrasher and the black-chinned sparrow.’
Late 19th century: crissal from modern Latin crissum (denoting the vent region of a bird) + -al.
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