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Friendly & Sweet: California Towhee

16 Feb

A large, dully marked, ground-foraging sparrow, the California Towhee is a characteristic bird of chaparral and underbrush in oak woodlands of California. It occurs in remote backcountry habitats, but also is common in urban and suburban areas.
From All About Birds:  California Towhee

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What that doesn’t say is how friendly and sociable California Towhees are.   Towhees are the kind of birds who hang out in your garden while you are gardening.  They don’t mind posing for photographs.  They stay around even while the kids are rampaging their way from the house to the car in the mornings.

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Towhees may be “dully marked” but their beauty is in their subtlety.  They are brown with cinnamon highlights on their face and sides.  And, when they scurry away from you on the ground, they flip their tails up and reveal a bright orange butt.  Dully marked only to the uninitiated!

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But the main reason I love my California Towhees is their song.  They love it sit and call in the spring, just one loud, clear note of “tsip” over and over again.  I have woken up to this pair calling in my yard for years.  They are far-and-away my favorite neighbors! If you click on the “All About Birds” link above, you can listen to their song.  Enjoy!

For more photos of cooperative birds, visit Bird Photography Weekly.