Who got your tail?

California (Brown) Towhees are occasional visitors to my backyard. They particularly enjoy the corn. Normally, they look like this:

As a size comparison, they are slightly bigger/bulkier than a House Sparrow or House Finch and have, as you can see, a rather long tail.

Normally anyway. Then his guy showed up in my yard this week:

Something seems to be missing here

The shape reminds me of a baby chicken

He seems perfectly fine. I've seen him over several days now and he hops around and flies off as easily as the others

I do wonder though – how did he lose all of his tail feathers so completely without any further injury? Do Towhee’s have a lizard like capability to abandon their tails and then grow them back?

I guess we’ll see!

On another birding note – I went for a run last weekend on the trails. Yes, a run. Meaning no camera to slow me down. Which was unfortunate since the birds were literally posing everywhere I went! In fact, I added a new bird to my Life List (which I actually need to put together again perhaps on an added page here?). Anyhow, I *may* have seen this bird before but couldn’t specifically identify it. As I said though, birds were just flat out posing and if I’d HAD my camera, I’d have a gorgeous photo but instead I have to steal one from the web:

Rufous Crowned Sparrow - the one I saw stood on a fence post & pretty much looked at me like this

The Rufous (birding ID for Brick colored) crown was very prominent

I think I need to get back out there with my camera 🙂