Friday, January 14, 2011

Rare Bird Sighting

Actually the post title is kind of misleading. This is an eastern towhee, a common bird according to All About Birds, but one that never has shown up in the small garden. It stays mostly in low shrubbery and bushes and very rarely ventures into open areas. I only have a small, slightly pathetic azalea bush in the garden; the rose bushes are in containers on the patio. It is not exactly the type of habitat that the eastern towhee inhabits.

So imagine my surprise when I came home for lunch (these birds only show up at lunchtime for some reason?) and saw the towhee on the bird table. I wish the picture was a little sharper, but I was trying to keep the sun from flaring in the snapshot. And, yes, he does have a red eye.

Now if I only knew what happened to the Baltimore oriole. . .


Anyes said...

He came out because he head heard about your fantastic bird food, and was really hungry, so he forgot to be shy. Those birds are really lucky to have you ;-)

Dan said...

Maybe he's hungry? A beautiful bird! Lucky you!

Carolina said...

Smile about your red eye remark ;-)

I guess the birds know when you are there to take their picture.

Susan said...

We have a rare (my second ever) female Baltimore Oriole at our feeders the last week. I've been stabbing big fat red grapes onto twiggy branches and smearing crunchy peanut butter in nooks and crannies hoping to entice her to stick around.

Don't you love a rare sighting - I love them all, flocks of homely Starlings included, but I do love an unusual visitor.

xo Susan & les Gang

Karen said...

Anyes: I hope so. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he comes back another day so I can take a better snapshot.

Dan: Thank you. When I first saw him from the back, I thought it was just another American robin, but looked again to see that he was an eastern towhee!

Carolina: To get that eastern towhee is unusual in both ways - first because they never visit the feeders and the second is that they have red eyes while all the other birds have brown and black eyes.

Susan: How unusual that you have a Baltimore Oriole up there in Newfoundland during your winter, too. I'm not so crazy about the grackles who show up, but I don't chase them off.