[Tweeters] Eastern Towhee in East Wenatchee

Jerry Tangren kloshewoods at outlook.com
Sun Feb 28 20:52:22 PST 2021

I apologize for not posting these sightings to Tweeters earlier; we’ve been in shock and at a quandary as to reporting it...we believe the chances of others finding it are probably poor.

Between February 13 and February 21, we observed an Eastern Towhee three times in our East Wenatchee yard. Each time was at about 10 feet through our kitchen window as the bird paused in a mock-orange before moving on. It was with a Spotted Towhee on the occasions it was seen.

The bird each time gained our immediate attention because it was plain in comparison to the Spotted Towhee. Otherwise, the white patch at the base of the primary was conspicuous on the sitting bird. On further observation, white edging to the primaries and tertials were also seen. No other white was seen on either the back or wings, indicating the bird is not a hybrid.

We were unable to photograph the bird. We were also unable to locate it at any other location or see it at our own feeder. We saw a Spotted Towhee at our own feeders only once during the period; apparently the towhees don’t appreciate the seed we provided this year. There are at least a half dozen yards with feeders within several hundred yards of our own. There was several inches of snow on the ground during the time period we saw the bird so it’s easy to assume it’s appearance in our yard was in response to the snow.

Today, February 28, we saw only a single Spotted Towhee.

The bird must be wintering in the neighborhood somewhere; we saw it only when there was snow on the ground; it’s bare now. If anyone wishes to try for the bird, your chance may be to walk the block of Eller, Highline, Leslie, and Rock Island Rd in East Wenatchee. Unfortunately, all the feeders are behind the houses. The fact that we have seen the bird only three times during an eight day period when there was snow on the ground does not provide any optimism. The Columbia River is only a few hundred yards to our west so the bird may also have moved up from there.

—Lorna & Jerry Tangren
East Wenatchee, WA

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