Backyard Birds: The bold, the pushy, the curious

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 …….

…… George.

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Backyard Birds: A Tail of Three Towhees

Winter dissolves into Spring in New Mexico’s East Mountains, and with this change of seasons comes clouds of pollen, strong winds and a new cast of songbirds. As the Dark-eyed Juncos head north to their Canadian and Alaskan breeding grounds, they leave behind the resident Juniper Titmice, House Finches, and Mountain Chickadees, and one of the largest sparrows in the songbird group, the Canyon Towhee.

By early April, the warbly bell ringing song and raspy cat-like mewling call of the male Spotted Towhee can be heard from the tree tops, as he invites all willing suitors and warns off competitors, declaring our backyard his private territory.

Then by mid-April, in moves the dapper Green-tailed Towhee, dominating the seed-littered ground beneath the feeders and chasing away every other bird that dare to grab a bite.

Definitely Towhee season in the East Mountains!

Continue reading “Backyard Birds: A Tail of Three Towhees”