Photo taken 6-13-08 by Kathiesbirds
Another well camouflaged bird in Sycamore Canyon is the Canyon Towhee. Canyon towhees are one of the scruffiest non-descript birds I have ever seen. When I saw my first one here last year I thought it was a cross between a House Finch and a Curved-billed Thrasher. It wasn’t until I looked it up that I learned what it really was. On Saturday morning Gus and I took a walk in the canyon and this bird flew out from the bank and landed on a rock in the middle of the wash in front of us. Can you see it?
Photo taken by Gus 6-14-08 around 7:30 a.m. MST
We stood frozen and watched as it proceeded to walk the rest of the way across the gravel canyon bottom. Its bedraggled appearance coupled with its dirt-colored feathers provides perfect camouflage as it crosses this wide expanse. It must have walked at least 15 feet pausing every few steps to look around before continuing onward. Whenever it stood still, it looked like a stone. Once it reached the opposite bank, it disappeared into the brush.
Canyon Towhee Photo taken by Gus 6-14-08 Cropped and enlarged.
On Saturday as the sun was setting in the west, these two flickers and a Gambel’s Quail came for their evening meal. In the golden light of the setting sun, they lined up like a perfect birdie totem pole, so I grabbed the camera and snapped away!
Photo by Kathiesbirds 6-14-08
We have our own bird tribe here in Sycamore Canyon!
Gambel's Quail Tribal Mask 8x10 Acrylic on Canvas Copyright 2008 by Kathiesbirds