Daily Archives: October 14, 2013

Green-Tailed Towhee 10-12-13

Green-tailed Towhee

Green-tailed Towhee

A stunning adult green-tailed towhee was found by Jay Keller on the 11th.  I found a shy one on September 23 at the swamp but was unable to photograph it.  These birds winter in the vicinity, preferring dense brush.  The bird pictured was found in the brushy area at the northeast corner of town next to the old ag fields.

Towhees have the habit of feeding on the ground, using their large feet to shuffle through leaf litter and debris looking for tasty morsels.

I took this photo on the 12th and later the same morning found another one back at the swamp.  Perhaps the same bird I saw in September.

Vermilion Flycatcher sub-adult male

Vermilion Flycatcher sub-adult male

This little flycatcher was found by Trent Stanley on the 11th in the area of the northeast corner of town.  Adult males have extensive red on the chest and face and dark backs and a black mask through the eye.  This is a first-year bird and has yet to get his full color. He was accompanied by a female, who is less colorful but  still an interesting bird.  These birds may be wintering locally.  We will see.

Vermilion flycatchers have been nesting in the area for at least two years, notably the area around the two old houses on the south side of Old highway 80 across from the ag fields.  I’ve also seen them at the pond.Western-wood pewee

Western-wood pewee

Western-wood pewees are members of a group (including the vermilion flycatcher) called Tyrant Flycatchers for their habit of perching conspicuously on tree branches and hawking for bugs, usually on the fly.  Other tyrant flycatchers we have around Jacumba include the very common black phoebe, less common Say’s phoebe, Western kingbirds, migrating Pacific-slope flycatchers and migrating willow flycatchers.