This weekend I was looking at the regular visitors to my birdfeeders, which in my case include Tufted Titmice, Black-capped Chickadee, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker and White-throated Sparrow (at least this time of year). Then I noticed another bird on the ground under the feeder: a male Eastern Towhee. Towhees are not typical feeder birds and this bird wasn’t necessarily around the feeder looking for sunflower seeds. It scratched under leaves and sticks in the garden for other seeds and any insects that may still be around. Towhees also eat berries during the winter.
Most towhees have flown south by now, but a few are still around trying to stick out the New England winter. I remember seeing several last winter, too.
I’ve been seeing more and more towhees over the last few years. Hopefully that means they are doing well overall as a species.
An Eastern Towhee in the garden in January: Not a bad way to start 2015.