Monday, February 8, 2010
But back to the birds. It rained heavily on Saturday and I watched and sketched as the birds visited the feeder. The California towhee(Pipilo crissalis) seems to be better waterproofed than the House finches (Carpodacus mexicanus) who were bedraggled and seemed much more aware of the the rain pouring down.
There's a lame White-crowned sparrow that visits regularly. He flies well, but is clumsy on the ground and perching. I watched him tip right off of a branch once. He's more puffed out than the other White-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys) and the markings on his wings are less distinct than on the others. He uses his tail as a crutch so it's always spread when he's on the ground. The feathers are worn and shabby at the ends. He often stays in the yard after the larger group has moved on. Today he rested in our persimmon tree for a while, giving me an opportunity to draw him holding still. I've found that he could be a she. Male and female White-crowned sparrows look the same.