Friday, July 15, 2011

California Towhee & Abert's Towhee - Western Birds

One of my favorite pictures of the summer - a California Towhee silhouetted against a southern California Sunset, Crystal Cove State Park, Newport Beach, CA; 6/12/2011.
(Above) Two for one - the "Bird of the Day", the California Towhee, and the "Sunset of the Day" all in one convenient photo.

A California Towhee in Crystal Cove State Park, Newport Beach, CA; 6/13/2011.
The California Towhee (Above) and Abert's Towhee (Bottom) are two more towhees that look very much alike, and are exclusively found out West in very specific areas. California Towhees are abundant in the areas of Newport Beach and in San Diego, which we visited a month ago, Like its namesake, California Towhees are only found along the Pacific coast in California and southward into the Baja Peninsula of Mexico. Not only were they abundant (I saw plenty every day we were there) but they were also not very skittish - holding their ground and perch while I came very close to them.

Another Cal. Towhee, Crystal Cove State Park, CA; 6/14/2011.
California Towhees are basically brownish grayish all over, with some cinnamon coloring under its tail and on its face and throat, which is also marked with some darker streaks. This was my first new bird to add to my Life List during this trip (#292).

An Abert's Towhee peched on a fence in Phoenix, AZ; 12/29/2009
Abert's Towhees (Above) look very like the California Towhee, with its brown/gray body with rufous under the tail. The main difference is in the face. Where the Cal Towhee has a cinnamon colored face, the Abert's is very dark - almost black, but with a pinkish brown chest. Also like Cal Towhees (which can only be found in California) Abert's are common in a very local area - south / southwest Arizona and the very southern tips of Nevada and California.

1 comment:

~Val said...

That top photo is pretty awesome - a great start to your Cali-birding experience!