I spotted one of these beautiful birds in the back yard this morning. First thing I noticed was how much it resembled a mockingbird. I checked my Sibley bird book, and it was as I suspected, a Brown Thrasher, and in the same family, Mimidae, as the mockingbird. I see on Wikipedia that my house is in the wintering region of the thrasher, so perhaps winter is coming sooner than expected.
It seems the hummingbirds have already deserted us, too, another sign of impending weather changes.