Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Canyon Towhee

Last February, after we left south Texas, Erika and I spent two days at Big Bend National Park. February is probably not the best month for birding there, so I went with limited expectations. My target species was this Canyon Towhee, a common bird for which I lacked photographs. The reason was that only recently have Canyon and California towhees been split into separate species. (Both used to be called Brown Towhees.)

I asked a park ranger where I might best find Canyon Towhees, and he replied, “Oh, we call them Parking Lot Birds, because that is where you see them.” The ranger was correct. These towhees, inhabitants of our Southwest and northern Mexico, are found in a wide variety of habitats and display a range of behaviors—from shy and hard to find, to tame and confiding.

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