The Lonesome Towhee

Along the Colorado Front Range, both spotted towhees (permanent residents) and green-tailed towhees (summer residents) prefer the open shrublands of the lower foothills though smaller populations may be found in suburban or rural areas of the urban corridor.  Over the years, some have visited our Littleton farm for periods of time but have always moved on for the breeding season.

Last spring, however, a male spotted towhee appeared on our property and has yet to depart.  Intent on attracting a mate, he sings from dawn to dusk, from late winter to early summer; for the remainder of the year, he is rather quiet, skulking among the shrubs or scratching for insects and seeds beneath the junipers and pinyon pines.  Isolated from his cohorts, his incessant singing has been in vain and I have yet to discover a female spotted towhee on the property.

Social creatures, we humans tend to pity animals that lose contact with their flock or herd.  While I have no ability to relocate our lonesome towhee, he seems content to hang around the farm.  Were he aware that he is but a few miles from the foothills, where his fellow towhees are abundant, he might feel differently!