There was a beautiful blue spruce in our yard. About 20 years ago the tree was blown down during a windstorm. I was so saddened to lose that tree because it was a haven for many bird species. When we cleaned up the tree I counted over 30 bird nests amid the branches.
Among all the birds that called that blue spruce home, one was the spotted towhee (Pipilo maculatus). Leonard and I always enjoyed watching the colorful males – black above with rufus flanks, a white belly and white spots and stripes – as they scratched among the leaf litter searching for insects and seeds. Once the blue spruce fell and was removed, the spotted towhees disappeared and we did not see them in our yard for all these years.
Then this winter three spotted towhees appeared around the house and stayed. Leonard throws seed out for the birds when the ground is covered with snow and the towhees joined the other birds for this free meal. As winter faded into spring and the seed buffet ended, the spotted towhees remained. They continue to entertain Leonard and me as they hop about the ground and appear to be using a couple large lilac bushes next to the house as a new home.
Leonard and I are delighted the spotted towhees reappeared and hope they can successfully nest and increase our towhee population.
See previous posts on spotted towhees from 10-10-2011 (Spotted Towhee) and 03-19-2018 (Pipilo maculatus).