Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Tommy Towhee

One of my favorite birds is an Eastern Towhee that has visited with us for the past two years. I know that spring is really here when I hear him singing his little heart out in the same tree between our house and our neighbor. He starts his "Drink your teeeeee" song very early in the mornings when we walk the dogs. He always makes himself visible as if to say, "Good morning." Actually, he is more likely thinking, "When are you going to put out that Golden hair for nesting material?" (Many of the bird nests around here are lined with silky Golden Retriever hair. When you have two Goldens, you have a lot of leftover hair to pass around.)

Last summer, we were delighted to have him visit our birdfeeder, a bit unusual for a ground feeder like the Towhee. He comes to see us almost every afternoon and follows the same pattern. He flies to a nearby tree and sings his little "Chweeeee", flies to the deck railing, hops a few times and then flies onto the sunflower feeder. He doesn't mind at all if we are sitting on the deck at the time. He simply goes about his business, glancing at us now and then.

Initially we thought he was coming for leftover suet. When the woodpeckers pulverize the suet cakes, we would crumble some of it and put it in the seed tray. With the hot weather we are having, we are changing the suet more often and don't want to put the old suet in the feeder tray. That doesn't seem to bother Tommy Towhee. He eats the sunflower seeds.

He is such a friendly bird, lovely to look at and wonderful to hear. I caught some shots of him the other day when I was on the deck.

Isn't he a sight to behold? And isn't it silly for me to think this is MY bird? But how many times do you have a bird that comes at the same time almost every day, and doesn't even mind if you are around? As far as I'm concerned, that does make him MY BIRD.


Dog_geek said...

Aw, Tommy is a beautiful bird. When I was growing up, my dad had a mockingbird friend - for years, he put food out for "his" mockingbird every day as he left the house for work, and the mockingbird would wait for him every morning on the boxwood right next to our front door. He would practically eat right out of my dad's hand. (Anyway, I'm glad that I'm not the only one who names all the wildlife!)

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Your Tommy is gorgeous.
I thought I was the only one to name "my" backyard birds!

KGMom said...

Not silly at all to claim him as your bird. He did come to YOUR feeder, didn't he?

Ruth said...

I saw my very first Towhee last week and was so excited. Actually, I heard its loud call first and was drawn to the shrub it was perched on. You have made a friend for sure!

Anonymous said...

Trust me it is not strange at all. I too had a "wild animal pet." It was a chipmunk. Whenever I would walk around the back paths of my local park one summer, he would meet up with me and follow me for a bit, probably for food. I always felt as if he was MY friend.

troutbirder said...

Ah gee! I wish I had such a lovely Towhee for my very own. Oh well I have enjoyed seeing yours!

Mary said...

The photos are awesome. I enjoy watching birds. The other day I watched a mother sparrow teaching her babies how to fly. It was a great show.

Thanks for stopping over to my Writing Nook. Please visit again soon.


LauraHinNJ said...

They're great birds and you're so lucky to have him at your feeder! I wonder, doesn't he have a lady friend?

NCmountainwoman said...

dog geek - Great story

Lynne - We name only the ones we can identify.

Donna - You're right. He chose us.

Ruth - I do so love his call.

Science guy - Isn't it nice to have that special bond?

Troutbirder - This is the first place we've lived where the Towhees were abundant. We really do like seeing and hearing them.

Mary - I get more pleasure watching a common bird feeding the young than seeing a lifer somewhere else.

Laura - Yes, he does. She is much more shy. I've seen her in the trees, but haven't gotten a good shot of her.

Jayne said...

That still makes me take a double look... a towhee at a feeder! So neat that he comes back to see you year after year!

Corey said...

Very pretty bird . .

Kathi said...

I understand the feeling that a certain bird is "yours;" I feel the same way about the cavity nesting birds who make their homes in the nest boxes and gourds I provide: MY bluebirds and MY martins.

Providing for them, and seeing them enjoy the fruits of your labors creates a bond, doesn't it?


Kerri Farley said...

Oh he is LOVELY! I have seen lots of these guys around...but none at my feeder...and none that I could get a real good shot of! These are Fabulous!