Looked out the back door this morning at the birds having breakfast, and saw one I’d never seen before. He was looking right at me, and then back at his food. Seeing an irridescent black head and some orange, I thought perhaps he was an oriole.
But no – his belly was white, only his sides were orange. So I sat immediately down with one of my birdbooks (having acquired several since living here in the woods) and my own breakfast (Nature’s Path organic hemp granola and soy milk), to figure out this stranger.
It was a puzzle quickly solved. The visitor was an Eastern (or rufous-sided) towhee, which a friend of mind in Knoxville calls her favorite bird. He’s also on my bird clock, and makes his call at 10, both morning and evening. Since I’ve never actually made his acquaintance til today, I didn’t recognize him from above.
This is a little north of his normal range, and here he is, early for summer. He’s named after his distinctive call. So welcome, tow-hee.