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It isn’t often that a new species of bird finds its way into our landscape! Proof that we are indeed creating a nice little wildlife habitat for ourselves! 🙂  

"In the Pine" (Eastern Towhee, Adult Male, in Scottish Pine) Nikon D300, 650mm (200-400mm w/1.7x Teleconverter, F/6.7, 1/160s, ISO 1600

I first noticed the male Eastern Towhee in late April, shuffling through the underbrush looking for insects. I soon became familiar with his distinctive call as his appearance became somewhat daily routine. I learned quickly, however, that seeing him every day didn’t mean I’d get daily photo oppotunities (I wish!).

These strikingly marked, oversized sparrows are difficult to photograph for several reasons: (1) they do not stay in one place long, (2) they rarely come out from under the thickets and, (3) the yard’s resident birds aren’t all that keen on sharing with the ‘new guy.’ 😉

Case in point, I only got this capture when said group of resident birds chased the Towhee high into the Scottish Pines. Bad for the Towhee…good for me! 🙂   

(Oh, there is a Mrs. Towhee but to date, I’ve only had a single sighting resulting in one extremely poor photo 😦 ).



  1. I wonder if that’s the type of bird that’s been hanging out in my lilac bushes. My daughter asked me the other day what kind of bird was orange and black and all I could think of was an oriole – not something we see much of in WMASS. Now I’m wondering if this little fellow is what we’ve very briefly seen.

    • Could be! Haven’t seen the orioles yet – usually don’t until July. I hope they show up this year!

      There’s also been reports of Varied Thrush in Massaschusetts, which is rare. But wouldn’t that be cool if that is what your daughter saw??

      • I showed her your picture, and she said no, that’s not what she saw. So we googled orioles and she said that was it. Everything else has been early this year, so I guess the birds could be too!

      • Make sure you tell the Orioles about the free buffet out here in Beverly!! 😉

  2. Great capture!

  3. Well, with a beautiful yard like yours, who WOULDN’T want to live there?? 😉

  4. We have a very similar looking bird over here called a Stonechat, and I wondered initially if it was the same… but google says no… lol… Same colours though, and they’re both great to see… Hope you manage to get some more shots of it…

    • Wow, Brian, they are very similar-looking birds! I do love seeing a new bird around and if they are colorful, the better! I’m sure the sparrows, wrens and swallows are all staging a protest! 😉

  5. Another check off your Life list, Tracy. If he’s sticking around after being chased, he must like you.

    • Ha! You are sweet, Scott! I have to admit, we do provide nice critter accomodations and I hear the buffet spread is to die for! 🙂

  6. nice title! (even though it made me start singing “end of the line” by traveling wilburys and its going to be in my head aaaaalll day.)

    a cool looking bird and nice colorful shot! i like the orange in the bird matching the orange in the needles.

    • Ha! I LOVE doing that to people! Travelling Wilburys….great group. We are seeing Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers this summer. Always a good show!

      Thanks, Stephen! I also like how the needles sort of look like fireworks explosions all around the little guy. His red eyes are just too cool! 🙂

  7. What a cute little bird! (I’m up to my ears in cute little birds at the moment, but it’s nice to see a new one.)

    • Yes, he certainly is! Thanks! 🙂

      I love this time of year…lots of birds and critters, along with little ones. So joyful to watch!

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