What a successful breeding season it’s been! Our backyard bird population exploded in size during May. with the addition of dozens of youngsters. The house finches have been the most prolific, and watching the newbies spar at the waterbowl or compete for the best perch on the feeders has been hilarious. But I’ve had the most fun getting to know the newest addition to the spotted towhee clan …….
Now George (so named because he’s a curious guy) appeared on the scene about 2 weeks ago. It was Dax, one of our two cats, who first noticed George as he would fly from windowsill to windowsill around the house. Dax was fascinated and would wave her paw at this curious visitor who would stare through the window at her, then hop to the next window waiting for Dax to follow. And she did!
One day George decided to visit me on a windowsill outside my studio. I waved, but then he quickly flew over to the patio and staked his claim on the waterbowl. “How dare that cheeky chipping sparrow take a sip!”
No sooner did George push away the sparrow, then our resident scrub jay flew in for a drink. A Woodhouse scrub jay is twice the size of a spotted towhee, but George was young and bold and in a matter of seconds, the bigger bird made a noisy exit in jay style. George looked so proud.
A few days ago, while George was hopping all over the patio bricks proclaiming himself king of the backyard, I did a few quick sketches.
I haven’t seen George lately. Maybe he’s off defending his rights to the resources in a neighboring backyard? He’s sure to be close, because every morning his Dad still calls him from the top of a pinon pine. Both Dax and I hope George returns soon.
What birds are you observing in your backyard or neighborhood?