Eastern TowheesteemCreated with Sketch.

My mother always enjoyed looking at the birds in the back yard, but it was a mere pastime and hadn't escalated to a hobby. But, when my brother and I became of age and left home to start our own lives, she became obsessed with birds.

A particular bird attracted her attention with its pretty song and delightful colors, so she went to the library and borrowed a book on birds. She quickly found the bird and read about it, which was the Eastern Towhee, pronounced: tō' - hee. This bird, known officially as Pipilo erythrophthalmus is a member of the sparrow family and is native to the eastern regions of the US and parts of Canada.

The name of the bird is derived from the sound of one of their calls, which sounds a bit like "tō' - hee." Another common call the bird makes sounds like it is telling the listener to: "Drink your teeeeea!"

The birds prefer nesting on, or near the ground, frequently in brush and bushes that don't have much foot traffic nearby. I currently have a nest of them in my back yard, but never see them until they come out to look for food or water. I saw three of them hopping around my patio earlier today and was fortunate to be able to snap a photo.

Several years ago before I had a decent camera for making photos, I attempted to sketch the bird one day. They are a colorful mix of black and white with a little red color along the sides.

These pretty birds love taking baths in a bird bath set into a concrete holder in the ground (built by my father) and are quite the lovely sight when they appear!

Over the following years after identifying the Eastern Towhee, my mother amassed quite a stash of birding books, magazines, binoculars, and bird recordings on vinyl LPs as well as cassettes. My father built several bird houses from scrap wood he had on-hand and erected several bird feeders on the property to attract the birds so Mom could watch them. They bought bird seed, made suet, made hummingbird nectar in the kitchen, and smeared peanut butter on one feeder for the birds to enjoy.

With my brother and I raising our own families then, my parents were able to make trips to wildlife sanctuaries so Mom could see more birds. Dad enjoyed the hobby, too, but it was mostly for Mom's delight that they went. They started with the ones in their own state, then began traveling to adjacent states to see others. My father's job took him halfway across the country one time, and my mother accompanied him to expand her birding expeditions. They scrimped and saved their money and were even able to take trips to Nova Scotia, Guatemala, the Caribbean, and a couple of other places to see the birds there. My mother was asked to write a column for the local newspaper after two of their trips, and then asked to speak at her ladies' church group about the wonders she had seen. She managed to carve out a little "heaven on earth" with her hobby!


   1 Wikipedia: Eastern Towhee

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I now have to fix my bird feeder, Blue's babies are still hanging around though the other birds like Chickadees and crows seem to get the lion's share of the feed. 🐦

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I am a big fan of birds and learned something new today! I live in the Northeastern US and guess there are some of those little critters hiding up here as well!

I love your articles❤️@thekittygirl, and enjoy reading them!
Have a wonderful Sunday, and take care 🥰🌺🤙

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That must have been really fun for your mum and such an honor :)

My mother always enjoyed looking at the birds in the back yard, but it was a mere pastime and hadn't escalated to a hobby.

First sentence of this blog had me thinking “This girl really may be a kitty.”


Oh yeah! A good looking little bird. None of our sparrows look like that.
I share your mom's passion for birds and in fact for all things nature.
Thankfully we have enough birds here in Africa that will keep me busy for years to come.
A great post here my friend.

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