Thursday, August 6

A Towhee, A Tickle, A Twitchy Nose

This female spotted towhee kept a watchful eye on me as she went from the grass by the tree, to a lower tree branch, and then to this higher branch nearby. At the French Creek Natural Area trailhead in CSP, on Mon.

Antelope or deer scratching around their ears is a fairly common sight, so I wonder if it's a tick or some other buggy pest. This guy had hoof-in-ear S. of Custer Park on Mon. along Red Valley Rd.

Not the best goldfinch photo, but they're like the blue jays, never hold still for long. I had two males zip past me Mon. at Keith Park at the S. end of the Hills. I got three crummy shots of this fellow as he flitted around.

I stumbled upon this real small cottontail rabbit next to an outhouse by the French Creek Natural Area trailhead. I almost didn't see it; I was too busy keeping an eye on a lone male bison that was grazing on the hill above me about 40-50 ft away.

I keep finding an upland sandpiper perched on a fence post just E. of Custer Park (on two different dirt roads, so it's not the same bird). They do this funny 'thing' with their head...they look straight ahead, long straight neck, then they look left (or right?), then they bob their head up and down...repeat...over and over...(I'm guessing this may be a male display 'dance'..? My near presence does not deter the pattern.) Anyway, Mon. the perched sandpiper must've been female; she wasn't bobbing, and there were 3 large chicks in the grass below. They moved away in very sloooow motion when I stopped for photos, but did not go far.


  1. I've seen white tailed deer do the hind foot scratch. You'd think kicking your ear with a hoof would hurt worse than the scratch;)

    In my area we have the Eastern Towhees. Yours are more vivid colored, the females anyway. I had a pair nesting in my yard this spring.

    Cute sandpiper.

  2. I have a pair of towhees with young ones coming in to feeder and birdbaths, they will hang around till quite late in the fall. They are one of my favorites. I think our Spotted towhees are quite handsome, since I grew up with the Eastern variety back in NY.

  3. I have a pair of Towhees that seem to follow me on long walks in the woods...and once saw a fawn jabbing at his nose and crying out like a lamb...I believe he had been stung by a bee!

  4. Never hear of a towhees before what a lovely bird,our goldfinches are different to yours.I do love to see birds from oversees