Friday, July 1, 2005

Spotted Towhee

I spotted this Spotted Towhee (pipilo maculatus) early this morning, as I was searching for orioles. He was perched up near the top of a flowering plum that is being taken over by our Chinese wisteria, just catching the rays. He even looks like he needs some coffee to get him started!

When we first moved out to the chapparal, these were one of my favorite birds to try to spot — I thought they were very elusive (and reclusive!). Now we've got scads of them right in our yard, attracted by both the cracked corn (they scratch feed just like chickens) and the waterer. And when we go for a walk, away from the yard, for some reason I no longer find them difficult to spot. The logical explanation is that I've gained some towhee-spotting skill, but what it feels like to me is that the towhee community decided that I was an okay guy, and they all decided (simultaneously) to refrain from hiding from me.

I like this photo mostly because it is showing off that distinctive red eye very clearly. Once I espied that eye (and how could I miss it?), there was no doubt that this was a Spotted Towhee.

Click on the photo for a larger view.

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