Friday, March 10, 2006

Birds-towhees, nuthatches, flickers

Out of the corner of my eye I spotted a movement in some brambles and honeysuckle. It turned out to be a black and burnt sienna colored bird but I couldn't get close enough to look at it carefully. It did have some white streaks on either it's wings or back but couldn't make out which. Looked in one of the bird books I have and it turned out to be an Eastern towhee one of the largest sparrows. I don't know if this is a common bird but this is the first time I've seen it. There are lots of flickers around now as well as nuthatches my favorite bird, both white and red breasted, singing? their nyuk, nyuk or nuk nuk call and also a rapid nasally wawawa, wawawa with a short A sound. A couple of the books I have describe the nuthatch call as a yank, yank but to my ears its more like Curly of the Three Stooges. The Eastern towhee apparently makes a "drink your tea" call but the one I saw remained silent. They also have red eyes but I couldn't get close enough to see this. Here's a great bird website from Cornell University which gives a lot of information about the towhee including the sounds it makes.

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