Wild Birds Unlimited Newsletter
~ For those passionate about birding and nature ~
November 2018                                                                                          Volume 11.18
Nature News
Bird of the Month

 

 
Spotted Towhee
Pipilo maculatus                         
 
 
Spotted Towhee's have a thick, pointed bill, short neck, chunky body, and long, rounded tail. Males have jet-black upperparts and throat while their wings and back are spotted bright white. The flanks are rufous red with a white belly. Females have the same pattern but are warm brown where males are black.
 
Look for Spotted Towhees in open, shrubby habitat with thick undergrowth. Spotted Towhees are also at home in backyards, forest edges, and overgrown fields.
 
Their warm rufous flanks match the dry leaves they spend their time hopping around in. The birds can be hard to see in the leaf litter, so your best chance for an unobstructed look at this bird may be in the spring, when males climb into the shrub tops to sing their buzzy songs. 
 
Spotted Towhees eat mainly insects including ground beetles, weevils, ladybugs, darkling beetles, click beetles, wood-boring beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, caterpillars, moths, bees, and wasps. They also eat acorns, berries, and seeds including buckwheat, thistle, raspberry, blackberry, poison oak, sumac, nightshade, chickweed, and crops such as oats, wheat, corn, and cherries. In fall and winter, these plant foods make up the majority of their diet.  Having a seed cylinder with mealworms and berries is a good way to attract these birds to your yard. 
 
Interesting fact: Male towhees have been recorded spending 70 percent to 90 percent of their mornings singing attempting to attract a mate. 
 
Want to read past e-newletters?  Check out our link here!  http://www.moananursery.com/expert-tips-and-info/e-newsletters.html
 
Click here to go to the Moana Nursery Website for more information
 
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Upcoming Events

Lahontan Audubon Society
 
Friday, November 9 -  8:00am
Field Trip - Caughlin Parkway and Steamboat Ditch Trail, Washoe

Tuesday, November 13 -  6:00pm
LAS Board meeting

Friday, November 16 -  8:00am
Field Trip - Oxbow Park, Washoe

Friday, November 30 -  8:00pm
Field Trip - Davis Creek RP, Washoe

Tuesday, December 11 -  6:00pm
LAS Board meeting

Friday, December 14 -  8:00am
Field Trip - Silver Saddle Ranch, Carson City
 


 

Tahoe Institute of Natural Science

Fri Nov 02 @ 7:00PM - 10:00PM
Rainbow Girls Live at Dark Horse (Fundraiser)

 

Sun Nov 18 @ 9:00AM - 12:00PM
November TBY Outing

 

Sun Dec 02 @ 9:30AM - 01:00PM
Sierra Valley Raptor Outing

 

Fri Dec 07 @ 9:00AM - 12:00PM
December TBY Outing

Go to Tinsweb website for full list of outings 


Nature Happenings

* Project FeederWatch continues, www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw
* Christmas Bird Count is this month, http://birds.audubon.org/christmas-bird-count
* December is our second snowiest month, though dreams of a White Christmas are a 1 in 20 shot.
* Keep water open for birds with a bird bath and heater.
* Great Horned Owls are pairing up this month - listen for their "who" calls.
* This is a great time to teach chickadees and titmice to feed from your hand
* Decorate a tree for the birds. Pick a tree in the yard and decorate it with edible ornaments for your feathered friends.
* Meadow Voles and Deer Mice disappear into tunnels under a blanket of snow.
* Geminid Meteor Shower is mid-month.


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