Dawn of the Towhee

Man, I have been seein’ a LOT of Eastern Towhees lately.

They’re a pretty bird, black on top, with crisp white and orange underneath, a robin designed by somebody with Illustrator and lots of vectors. While not a rare bird by any means, they have always been something of an uncommon visitor to my yard–I see them maybe once or twice a month, rare enough that I still go “Oo! A towhee!” when I see one. The females are similiar, but chocolate brown on top instead of black.

This spring, though–or springish-like period, since I don’t think it’s officially spring yet–I’ve been seeing them everywhere. One darted out of the bushes in the parking lot of the mall. They cavort through the backyard at the new place. They’re everywhere.

While I haven’t had much time for concentrated birdwatching at the new place–putting out a bath and a coupla feeders is all I’ve managed, and the only thing I’ve seen on a feeder is a tufted titmouse–casual observation has spotted a flock of crows, a Generic Hawky Thing (I just assume all hawks are red-tails until proven otherwise) aforementioned titmouse, a brown thrasher, a hermit thrush, Carolina wrens, a bluebird, enough cardinals to make a fire-engine red trenchcoat, and a northern flicker. I can hear geese every evening from the nearby lake, and there are more robins than I know what to do with. And of course, the towhee.

I wonder if it’s just a banner year for towhees, or if this is a harbinger of the coming Towhee Invasion, wherein attractive little birds surround a plucky band of survivors and try to eat their brains.

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