Green-tailed Towhee – Lifer 240

I had always been envious of some other parts of Texas, that had some birds that we didn’t have here in San Angelo.  Here in my area, depending on the time of year, we have 371 different species of birds, so I shouldn’t be disappointed.   But, as they say, the grass always look greener over the fence.

In far west Texas, they have great birds like the Scott’s Orioles, Montezuma Quail, etc.  In east Texas the have exotic shore birds, and the beautiful Green Jay.  But, I should be satisfied that I have 371 species to look for.  Anyway, one of those birds from the west got off course and flew in to visit for a few days.  It is the Green-tailed Towhee, (Pipilo chlorurus).

Yesterday morning I got an e-mail from a fellow bird photographer of mine, Bill Yeates, who had been to the bird blind at San Angelo State Park.  He had spotted, and photographed a Green-tailed Towhee.  I had to see this, so Ann and I set out this morning to see if this bird was still around.  If I could spot it, it would be number 240 on my life-list.

We got to the blind about 9:30, and we didn’t have to wait long.  Sure enough it made it’s appearance from the brush and grass near one of the trees.  In fact, it popped in and out of there about four times during our two-hour stay.  At that time of the morning, this time of year, the lighting in that blind is absolutely horrible.  The sun is fairly low and bright from the left.  This is why, as I mentioned in a previous post, I would rather have cloudy or overcast skies.

But as they say, if you get lemons, try to make lemonade.  I got several images and I was able to pick out these two that are reasonably acceptable.

Green-tailed Towhee

Green-tailed Towhee

These photos aren’t up to my usual standards, but I wanted to show another colorful and unusual bird that we have here in Texas.

Click on either image to see an enlargement.

43 thoughts on “Green-tailed Towhee – Lifer 240

  1. Bob, your lovely little bird looks like he is wearing shoes…
    (Pink legs, dark gray feet) Adorable! As Frank has pointed out, your “sub par photos are better then most peoples good pictures,” and speaking for myself, I must agree. ~ Lynda

  2. Bob,
    I hate to tell you this but your sub par photos are better then most peoples good pictures…Keep up the wonderful stuff and we’ll just keep enjoying them.

  3. I think the birds are very pretty, Bob, and I know what you mean about the light in certain places and at certain times. I have been trying to get a particular shot of Ripon Cathedral frontage, including the many chimney roofed buildings in front of it, for years without success! I saw the light I wanted once not long after we moved here, but with no camera present, I was unable to take advantage of it. Unfortunately, I have been unable to catch that light again at just the right moment! As we do, we keep trying though and I will get it someday! Great post, Bob!


    • As they say in photography, it is all about the light. And most of the time it is never perfect, and we just have to make do. I did get back there this morning. We have cloudy skies with rain threatening, but the overall light was better. I will check out my images later today and see if I have something better.

  4. We do have the Green Towhee here in Colorado..they are delightful little birds. As usual in spite of the lighting, your photos are have the ability to capture the moment..Brightened my snow day..I had a meeting to go to and when I pulled in to where the meeting was, there were two ruddy red fox playing in the snow..that is one big advantage to Pagosa Country, our wildlife..Take care and keep the photos coming…

    • Thanks, David. There are 371 different bird species that visit this area depending on the time of the year. So we always have something to look forward to, (and to look for). 🙂

  5. I always enjoy seeing photos of this species because in a way these towhees sparked my initial interest in birds many years ago. I was taking an ornithology class in college and my field project was doing research on these towhees. Still don’t have any decent imaages of them though. Nice photos, especially under the conditions you describe.

    • Thanks, Ron. I hope to get back there again. It is cloudy today so maybe I will be blessed with better light, and hopefully the bird will still be around. I appreciate your comments.

  6. As far as wishing to see the birds from other parts of Texas, I think that is true no matter where you live. One of the few good things about driving over the road was seeing so many unfamiliar species of birds. Some I knew from having read a lot of bird books, but my ex-girlfriend learned to keep the bird guide handy for when I called home. I would describe the birds I saw to her over the phone. She would mark the birds that I described to her, then I would look them up again when I got home. That was especially true on the Texas runs that I made.

    • Thanks for the great comment. Of course, one solution that I have handy, is that I just need to get in my car and travel. Actually, I am going to further west Texas the end of this month, and maybe later I will get to east Texas.

  7. This is unusual, Bob. A very pretty bird indeed. 🙂 Good that you could capture it! And wonderful writing: could appreciate on some quotes you have mentioned. Great work, Bob. 🙂

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