Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Towhee Mystery Solved

After careful examination of the one photo I managed to take of the mystery towhee this past weekend along the Provo River, I've definitively concluded that it must be a spotted towhee. The first photo, as you can see, shows the bird's head and breast clearly, with the clear coloration of the towhee, but what might be spots along its dark flanks might also be a trick of that day's bright sunlight.

Having looked at the whole photo, rather than just the cropped section, more closely, however, I've found that I actually took a picture of two birds in that flock rather than just one. The "rear view" presented by this shier towhee is more in shadow, and clearly shows the white markings lining its wings and flanks. A spotted towhee it is, making my life list grow to 51 and marking a very prosperous birding beginning to the new year. I wish everyone as much enjoyment birding this year as these puzzlers give me!


Mary C said...

Hi Melissa. You sure do have an impressive backyard list. We get California towhees in our backyard - I love the way they clean up the seeds on the ground. I hope to see a spotted towhee one of these days.

Sparverius said...

Spotted Towhee it is. And they do tend to be such show-offs sometimes.