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olderthanIusedtobe
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostSat Feb 25, 2012 2:12 pm 
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I've been watching the feathered friends off and on all day.  There's a rufus sided towhee that I think is attacking his own reflection in a sliding glass door.  I've observed him doing this numerous times before.  Kinda funny.

There's also a Stellar's jay, some robins, a couple of varied thrushes, juncos and probably numerous other smaller birds.
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Davidą
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PostSat Feb 25, 2012 3:44 pm 
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olderthanIusedtobe wrote:
rufus sided towhee

FYI they have split this species into the Eastern Towhee and the Spotted Towhee (our local bird)

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Mike Collins
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Mike Collins
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PostSat Feb 25, 2012 7:02 pm 
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You said "him" but are you sure it was a male Spotted Towhee? The male often has deeper rufous coloring to it. Both sexes sing though. The reason I ask is because both Eastern Towhee and the Spotted Towhee have a high nesting fidelity returning to the same locale each year to nest. I am curious if the female contributes to this fidelity by defending against intruders which is usually thought of as a male activity. The female being the egg layer is more valuable biologically and it is generally too risky for the species to jeopardize the egg layer with an aggressive action.
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rasbo
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PostSat Feb 25, 2012 7:18 pm 
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love to watch them,in the spring I like to hear the towhee calling,we get some pileated woodpeckers for awhile,man those guys can tear up a tree,LOLand the dang flickers drumming on the gutters and chimmney pipe.for a few years they have made homes in our snags,we have a small creek and we left snags and and keep our place as natural as possible.A band of roving peacocks frequent once in awhile...cool topic
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olderthanIusedtobe
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostSun Feb 26, 2012 1:58 pm 
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I thought it was a male towhee, but I'm not positive.  Is the female's coloration less dramatic?  I'm used to seeing the dark back and head w/ fairly distinct dark orangish color on the side, assumed this was the male.
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Mike Collins
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PostSun Feb 26, 2012 2:42 pm 
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It was probably a male. The females is muted. It will look like a rufous color that has been bleached by the sun. Oddly enough in a study done on a close relative,  Pipilo aberti, (Abert's Towhee) the increased aggression with territoriality was not tied to an increase in testosterone or corticosterone levels as one might expect. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0018506X10002837
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Flower Sniffer
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Flower Sniffer
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PostSun Feb 26, 2012 8:21 pm 
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I had a lovely experience at my feeder the other day.  I wanted to fill it, but there was a little Pine Siskin on it, so I was waiting for him to leave.  He was just hanging out, so finally, I decided I'd just go ahead and go out to fill it, thinking he'd come back.  I went right up to the feeder, and he didn't budge!  I said, "okay, wait there!" and I went back inside to get my camera.  Upon my return, he still made no move to leave, so I got a hand full of seed and coaxed him off.  To my surprise, he stepped right onto my hand and sat and ate his fill!  It was really sweet!

Copy of Copy of DSCN8084.JPG1
Copy of Copy of DSCN8084.JPG1
Copy of DSCN8103
Copy of DSCN8103

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Mike Collins
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PostSun Feb 26, 2012 9:39 pm 
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That is strange behavior but others have reported it as well with pine siskins http://www.birdingmaine.com/hand-feeding-pine-siskins.htm
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Flower Sniffer
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Flower Sniffer
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PostMon Feb 27, 2012 5:27 am 
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Hey Mike, thanks for sharing that!  It did seem a bit strange, and it I did cross my mind that maybe there might be something wrong with the little guy, but he seemed perfectly healthy.  I was quite thrilled by the experience! 

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Flower Sniffer
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PostMon Feb 27, 2012 5:42 am 
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While we are on the subject of birds, I had another interesting thing happen recently.  For a couple of weeks, I kept hearing what I thought was a hawk in the backyard.  Every time I heard it, I went to the window to look, but never could see it.  Then, a couple of weeks ago, I was watching the birds on our feeders, and a Stellars Jay showed up.  I watched him hop allong the rail, and the little devil let out what sounded like a hawk cry!  I did a little research, and sure enough, the Jays immitate hawks to scare off the other birds so they can have the feeders to themselves!  Now that I know who it is, I catch him out there doing it all the time!  How cool is that!

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Trail Angel
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PostMon Feb 27, 2012 6:18 am 
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Flower Sniffer wrote:
I watched him hop allong the rail, and the little devil let out what sounded like a hawk cry!

The Jays at my last place would frequently imitate the bald eagles. I would do the same thing you would~~ go look out the window only to be fooled time after time. lol.
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostMon Feb 27, 2012 8:15 pm 
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Flower Sniffer wrote:

Thanks for sharing those great pictures!  I would guess this is a juvenile bird.  I've heard anecdotes about the youngsters being less cautious than the adult birds, maybe to the point of even appearing to be a bit "dazed."  Anyway that looks like fun.
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Flower Sniffer
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PostMon Feb 27, 2012 8:47 pm 
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I thought maybe he was a baby too, but people are saying it's too early.  Anybody know?

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marta
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marta
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PostMon Feb 27, 2012 9:44 pm 
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Fun pictures of the Pine Siskins. I noticed ours are gathering and eating more at our feeders.

In the past, we had a cat that was born on a farm. She was a pretty good hunter.  I always kept her in a bit more around this time of the year because they seem to be so tame at this time of the year. She'd was very good at sneaking up or they didn't really understand.  Never the less she'd usually get a couple every spring.
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boot up
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boot up
Old Not Bold Hiker
PostMon Feb 27, 2012 9:46 pm 
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Flower Sniffer wrote:
I thought maybe he was a baby too, but people are saying it's too early.  Anybody know?

I just ran into a similar situation a couple days ago at our feeder.  Only difference was I didn't try to coax it onto my hand.  Maybe next time.  cool.gif

Same thing, I wanted to refill the feeder, but it just sat there hunkered down and acting "dazed", with a bit of edge like it was saying.  "Hey, I have food and a rain cover...Why should I leave in this crappy weather?"
(it was a cold rain at the time) I had to gently shoo it away so I could fill the feeder.

So no, its not too early.  smile.gif  up.gif

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