Sunday, March 29, 2015

Singing Spotted Towhee

This morning on Lake Creek Trail I was excited to encounter a singing male Spotted Towhee not too far from the Braes Valley parking lot. I have never heard one sing before. Spotted Towhee is an unusually colorful member of the sparrow family, and like most sparrows it only lives in central Texas during the winter. In the winter, most birds don't sing. Singing is associated with breeding activities, and winter isn't breeding season. So to sing in the winter is a waste of energy.

But in the spring there is a window, right now, when we central Texans sometimes get to hear winter birds like Spotted Towhees singing. The birds start to exhibit some breeding-related behaviors (like singing) before they leave for their northern breeding grounds.

Here's the Spotted Towhee I got to hear singing:

Spotted Towhee

You can listen to it's song isolated from others here:

And here's the recording I made with my iPhone of the bird this morning. (It's mixed with several other bird songs and calls.)

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