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 🙂

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One comment

  1. Robin · May 30, 2011

    Yes, you do. But it’s understandable. It’s hard to exercise/run with a camera. I have to (reluctantly) leave mine behind when I’m out to get my heart rate up. Naturally that’s when all the great photo ops come along. The birds KNOW.

    That is odd about the Towhee. Doesn’t seem to be upsetting his balance either. I have to agree that he does look like a baby chicken.

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