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Surprise Visitors

05/06/2013

So a funny thing happened at dinner tonight.  We were sitting at the table when I noticed an odd bird out under the feeder.  It was darker than the normal house finches, but had a bright white spot under it’s beak.  I got up and grabbed a pair of binoculars to check it out and wow, it was awesome.  I first thought that it was a Black-Throated Sparrow, but I checked one of my books and it didn’t match up to the photos.  So I grabbed the camera and ran around the house from the garage to get some photos.  It ended up taking me an hour, 2 guidebooks and 2 apps to learn the ID, a Green-Tailed Towhee!  A life bird for me and one that I had been looking for the previous week in Santa Fe.

So here it is

Green-Tailed Towhee, Rio Rancho NM

Green-Tailed Towhee, Rio Rancho NM

Green-Tailed Towhee, Rio Rancho NM

Green-Tailed Towhee, Rio Rancho NM

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Green-Tailed Towhee and House Finch, Rio Rancho NM

Green-Tailed Towhee and House Finch, Rio Rancho NM

While I was out there I spotted what I thought were White-Crowned Sparrows, which I have seen in the yard before.  But when I looked at the photos, they had rufous heads, they were Chipping Sparrows!  I’ve never seen them before either.

Chipping Sparrows, Rio Rancho NM

Chipping Sparrows, Rio Rancho NM

And right before the light went a pair of Lesser Goldfinches showed up to get harassed by the House Finches.

Lesser Goldfinches, Rio Rancho NM

Lesser Goldfinches, Rio Rancho NM

I have no idea why I looked out the window, or how I noticed the Towhee, but I’m glad that I did.  And I’ve never felt more like a birder than leaving the dishes on the table and grabbing my camera to run outside.

 

The Green-Tailed Towhee and Chipping Sparrow are birds that I needed for my Guidebook challenge.  But I’ve lost the book!  I’m sure that it will turn out, but I’m sure that the first rule of arbitrary challenges based on books is to not lose said book.

Cheers!

 

 

 

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