Birds – a week of birds – field notes from a beginner birder, your blogger. Drawing and painting the birds for this week’s posts (some of the full-time residents here), I’ve realized what any bird painter could have told me quickly: sometimes you need more than one photo to try and capture a bird’s likeness. (A new page to the right lists the generous photographers who allow me to use their photos for reference.) I’m grateful to the blog for the pleasure of attempting these portraits.
Spotted towhees for starters, the most familiar of our bird neighbors, they particularly relished the straw berm days – skritch, skritching like chickens – tossing straw off the beds and strewing it in paths.
The always-together couple – he has the darker hood, hers slightly grayer – speak in an unmistakable conversational, rising-at-the-end call.
Beautiful, with an odd red eye and careful sprinkle of white polka dots, towhees are a daily presence enjoying dirt baths and water baths. They forage in the front garden beds, and retreat to their quarters in the near forest.