Posts Tagged ‘spotted towhee’

Female spotted towhee — Wikimedia photo

“The accent of one’s birthplace remains in the mind and in the heart as in one’s speech.” — Francois de La Rochefoucauld

A Southern Accent, Perhaps

            Towhee … towhee!

The sound was coming from a bird hidden in a tree about halfway up Negro Bill Canyon near Moab, Utah.

Male spotted towhee

Drink ur tea … drink your tea, a reply echoed from farther up the canyon.

The sounds stopped me in my tracks. I had no intention of hiking on until I had spotted the two birds with my binoculars. I was sure I would see two different species, based on the different bird sounds they were making.

Although tucked among some small branches, I easily spotted the first bird, a male spotted towhee that gets its name from its voice. With a black head and back, rusty sides, and black wings speckled with white spots, it was an easy identification, even without the binoculars. But this basic bird-watching tool let me get a closeup look at the towhee’s bird’s brilliant red eye. Such details always delight me.

After the second bird sang out drink ur tea … drink ur tea a second time, I found it sitting in another tree. Except that its head appeared to be more of a rich brown than black, the two birds were identical. According to my field guide, this was a female spotted towhee.

Towhees, I had read, learn their songs when young, and pick up different inflections, even copy the songs of other species if they hear them frequently.

Perhaps one of these birds had a southern accent, like this native Texan. It was a fanciful thought, but it might even have been true.

Bean Pat: Brevity: Stripper Girl  https://brevity.wordpress.com/2018/03/15/stripper-girl/  Always one of my favorite blogs, and this one is an example of how the world’s language  changes.

Pat Bean: is a Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder. Her book, Travels with Maggie, is now up on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/y8z7553y  Currently, she is writing a book, tentatively titled Bird Droppings, which is about her late-bloomer birding adventures. You can contact her at patbean@msn.com

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A Palo Duro Canyon view provided by Mother Nature ... Photo by Pat Bean

“There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter.” — Rachel Carson

Day Nine

 Today was the day I explored the park. I took pictures, hiked a few trails and let nature’s special medicine cleanse my brain of the world’s chaos. No chemicals could do as thorough a job.

The birds serenaded me. The spring budding of trees fed my soul, and the canyon’s rock cliffs, sluggish red creeks, and colorful wildflowers continually kept my eyes entertained. I looked for the coyotes that had howled during the night, but saw only deer, jackrabbit and of course birds, including a spotted towhee that was a new addition for my trip list.

Water carved the canyon, and continues to do so ... Photo by Pat Bean

 Palo Duro Canyon is a big Texas surprise. Hidden below a flat landscape of sagebrush and cactus, and blowing tumbleweeds when the wind howls, one has to be in it to see it.

 Have you ever felt that you were exactly in the place you were meant to be? This day felt like that.

Copyrighted by Pat Bean

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