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Sun Mar 7, 2021, 04:56 PM

I had a new bird show up today that I've never noticed before.

Eastern Towhee
?itok=dbSfMrB7

He was scratching around and eating the seed on the ground under the feeders. At first I thought he was a robin until I saw the white underparts.

I've also had a flock of Goldfinches hanging around for the last couple of days. The males are starting to turn their bright yellow breeding colors.

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Reply I had a new bird show up today that I've never noticed before. (Original post)
Arkansas Granny Mar 2021 OP
elleng Mar 2021 #1
regnaD kciN Mar 2021 #2
Permanut Mar 2021 #3
Arkansas Granny Mar 2021 #5
Permanut Mar 2021 #9
wendyb-NC Mar 2021 #4
Arkansas Granny Mar 2021 #7
soothsayer Mar 2021 #6
asiliveandbreathe Mar 2021 #8
Arkansas Granny Mar 2021 #13
drmeow Mar 2021 #15
asiliveandbreathe Mar 2021 #16
drmeow Mar 2021 #17
asiliveandbreathe Mar 2021 #18
drmeow Mar 2021 #19
Walleye Mar 2021 #10
Binkie The Clown Mar 2021 #11
MLAA Mar 2021 #12
Blue Dawn Mar 2021 #14
MoonchildCA Mar 2021 #20
Blue Dawn Mar 2021 #21
MoonchildCA Mar 2021 #22
eppur_se_muova Mar 2021 #23
MoonchildCA Mar 2021 #24
Arkansas Granny Mar 2021 #26
Donkees Mar 2021 #25

Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Sun Mar 7, 2021, 04:58 PM

1. Nice! I haven't caught any, but

MD friends have been doing so.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Sun Mar 7, 2021, 05:02 PM

2. We used to have those up in Massachusetts...

They were known as "Rufous-Sided Towhees" back in the '60s.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Sun Mar 7, 2021, 05:04 PM

3. Thanks AG..

nice pic. We have them in Oregon, always a nice surprise.

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Response to Permanut (Reply #3)

Sun Mar 7, 2021, 05:06 PM

5. Full disclosure: I didn't take the photo. Found it online.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Reply #5)

Sun Mar 7, 2021, 05:14 PM

9. Credit acknowledged..

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Sun Mar 7, 2021, 05:04 PM

4. That looks like a Towhee.

We have them, too. They even eat out of our feeders. A pair visits daily the female is gray where the male is charcoal.

There are 2 forms an Eastern Towhee and a Western Towhee.

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Response to wendyb-NC (Reply #4)

Sun Mar 7, 2021, 05:08 PM

7. I had to use a bird id website to find out who he was. I don't recall seeing them before.

We're apparently on the western edge of their range.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Sun Mar 7, 2021, 05:08 PM

6. Had them in the DC area when I was a kid

Havenít seen any in years

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Sun Mar 7, 2021, 05:10 PM

8. Lovely..I do notice that the AZ birds are not as colorful, other than

the peach faced Love Birds, that burrow in our cacti..and they have the prettiest chirp..

?t=36

I remember our Robins and Chickadees and Blue Jays in Mass..but an Eastern Towhee and Goldfinches..that is special..thank you for sharing..

Just a short story from Last evening at dusk..we have a Morning Dove nesting in our tree..hubby was sitting out back and a sudden rustle caused by a Hawk attempting to get to the nest..hubby chased the Hawk away immediately..thank goodness the Dove came back, and is sitting in nest still..we have Ponderosa Pines the Hawks nest in..

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Response to asiliveandbreathe (Reply #8)

Sun Mar 7, 2021, 05:49 PM

13. Last summer there was a Mourning Dove that brought 2 fledgling to the Forsythia bush in the corner

of my yard. They scrambled up under the branches and stayed out of sight and she left.

She would come and check on them from time to time and I saw her feed them a couple of times (something I had never before witnessed). Later that day she came back, they came out from under the bush and they all flew off together.

I've always enjoyed watching birds, but I've spent so much time home alone this past year that I have really gotten into it. Some of the behavior has been surprising.

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Response to asiliveandbreathe (Reply #8)

Sun Mar 7, 2021, 06:12 PM

15. But the variety of hummingbirds in AZ

makes up for the drabber common birds. The Peach Faced Lovebirds are adorable.

In Phoenix we did see Cardinals, different goldfinches, and Verdins (which have lovely yellow heads). Not super colorful but the Gambels Quails are adorable (and noisy).

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Response to drmeow (Reply #15)

Sun Mar 7, 2021, 06:37 PM

16. OH, how could I forget our lovely Hummingbirds..I have two feeders..

for heavens sake, OH, and Quail..sometimes when I count 7 babies scooting across the fairway..and then a couple weeks later I only count 2 or 3 babies..but every year..a new hatching..

I do have a woodpecker, red head, mottled white and gray feathers, he likes to guard the Humming Bird feeders..chasing away smaller birds, not sure what they are..but, boy is he noisy..I bet that woodpecker is the same one that likes to wake us up early in morning rat-a-tat on our satelite dish..of course it is on the roof over the bedroom..OH, and then the beautiful black Mockingbirds..noisy noisy noisy..

Ya' know what, I am so grateful for these lovely discussions..sure is a nice feeling - almost like that movie that starts out black and white, then morphs to color..not so naive to think we are out of the woods, and we don't have major societal problems to solve..but we have decent people who want to help solve those problems..

Wish you well..

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Response to asiliveandbreathe (Reply #16)

Sun Mar 7, 2021, 08:12 PM

17. I miss the hummingbirds the most

For almost anything else (except the quail) I've got something here to see but there's nothing like the hummingbirds in Arizona! There was a Black Chinned Hummingbird that hung out in our front yard for 2 or 3 years - I named him Fred

On the other hand, I've been seeing Bald Eagles almost every day for the past week or two - 2 adults and 2 juveniles. It is quite majestic and awe inspiring.

It is nice to be able to relax and enjoy each other more now that we've got an adult in charge!

Where in AZ are you?

I'm in Richmond, VA now.

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Response to drmeow (Reply #17)

Sun Mar 7, 2021, 09:50 PM

18. We are the last stop before heading towards the Salt River in the Salt River

National Park..such beauty right in our back yard..way up here in the NE Mesa area..btw..we had snow on the Four Peaks MT. range this year..and last year....this from 2019..





I so enjoyed everything about Virginia..have not traveled to Richmond..but we used to drive to friends in Winchester VA..about 500 MI from Mass..we would leave after work on a Friday..arrive early am in Wash DC..one time we drove into the back parking lot of the WH..of course that was in the mid eighties..our friends live 50 miles sw of DC..too early to arrive..so let's visit the WH..can't do that today, of course..innocents stolen..

I miss the ocean..grew up on the coast of Mass..we have been to Cali many times..San Diego is fav..can't wait to get back on the road...be well


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Response to asiliveandbreathe (Reply #18)

Sun Mar 7, 2021, 11:11 PM

19. I never got up that way

I was in Tempe. Did not explore enough of the Valley when I had the chance. I never thought we'd leave.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Sun Mar 7, 2021, 05:20 PM

10. I don't have any towhees, but always got goldfinches around the thistle feeder

Iím on the second floor, my downstairs neighbor doesnít like sunflower seeds on his deck so thistle feeders are the only things I can use now. Iíve had the Juncos and white-throated sparrows. Also have a few purple finches. They used to be crowded out by the house finches, theyíre making a comeback.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Sun Mar 7, 2021, 05:26 PM

11. Looks like the Rufus-Sided Towhees we get here in Oregon. nt

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Sun Mar 7, 2021, 05:35 PM

12. Beautiful!

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Sun Mar 7, 2021, 06:09 PM

14. I have never seen one of these...

....at my bird feeders here in the eastern part of Tennessee.



I did find this photo. They really are lovely birds! I will do a bit of research to see if they are sighted in Tennessee.

I see chickadees, titmice, woodpeckers, cardinals, and wrens at my feeders. My neighbor has many bluebird houses, and the birds will sit on the electric wires in front of our house and then swoop down into our yard for insects. I also see robins and mourning doves. We have owls calling to one another in the evening right in our backyard. We have 2 miles of wooded area behind our house. I am always looking for new and different birds.

I love your towhee!



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Response to Blue Dawn (Reply #14)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 11:28 AM

20. That photo is actually a spotted towhee.

We have those here in our backyard in California. We also get California towhees which are their more plain cousins, dull brown in color, with a rusty rump.

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Response to MoonchildCA (Reply #20)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 11:32 AM

21. Oh, thank you!

I didnít know. I thought it was the same. I appreciate your telling me.


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Response to Blue Dawn (Reply #21)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 02:10 PM

22. Easy mistake. They are pretty similar.

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Response to MoonchildCA (Reply #20)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 02:34 PM

23. Umm... If AR Granny really is in AR, it's more likely the Eastern towhee. However ...

The Eastern Towhee and the very similar Spotted Towhee of western North America used to be considered the same species, the Rufous-sided Towhee. The two forms still occur together in the Great Plains, where they sometimes interbreed. This is a common evolutionary pattern in North American birds Ė a holdover from when the great ice sheets split the continent down the middle, isolating birds into eastern and western populations that eventually became new species.

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Eastern_Towhee/overview


FWIW, this was news to me. I always called them Rufous-sided, and they are frequent visitors in AL and FL.

ETA: Oops, mistook the referent. The photo you were remarking on is of a spotted bird.

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Response to eppur_se_muova (Reply #23)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 03:51 PM

24. I was about to clarify, but see you caught the mistake.

I was referring to the photo Blue Dawn posted.
I know this bird well, as he is a frequent visitor to my backyard.

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Response to eppur_se_muova (Reply #23)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 09:14 PM

26. I really am in Arkansas, which is on the western edge of the Eastern Towhee according to

the maps I've seen. I didn't get a good enough look to see if the wings were spotted or not.

I'm no expert, but I was surprised at seeing a bird that I didn't recognize. I've put out bird feeders before, but I've added new varieties of food this year and I'm seeing a lot of birds.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 08:12 PM

25. I saw one of those for a few days about a week ago. He arrived with the red-wing blackbird

migration. I first thought he was a robin with snow on his chest I don't remember ever seeing a Towhee before. There's been a feeding frenzy here with so many migrating birds now mobbing the feeders while it's still so cold.

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