Eastern Towhee: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — When I was out filling the bird feeders by my backyard photo blind yesterday morning, I heard an unfamiliar “chink and titter” call. I simply could not place it, but I knew it could be an interesting bird. Later I took a look out the deck doors in the kitchen, just to see what was out under the trees, and saw the leaves hopping up and down as only a Towhee can hop them. Got my binoculars and sure enough it was an Eastern Towhee…a first for our yard. I had been fooled because our bird was singing the “dink, ic,ic,ic,ic,ic,ic” variation of the song rather than the more familiar “drink yur tea tea tea tea tea” version. I went out with my camera, but if you know Towhees you know how hard they are to photograph when feeding in dense cover and heavily leaves. Most of the time they are well buried. He did hop up on the fence and sing once…this time his traditional tea song, but he was still obscured by the brush in the corner of our yard. I saw it again, mostly still buried in brush, several times during the day, so, late in the afternoon I set the blind out and sat there for an hour waiting on the bird to show itself. I have, as you might predict, a great many photos of pieces of Towhee, and an equal number of shots of focused foliage and brush and unfocused bird. I even played his song for him, hoping to strike a competitive streak and inspire him to hop up somewhere and sing. He was not having any of my tom-fool-ery. Eventually I did get some photos I was happy with…if not the full frame, full body, field guide quality shot I might have wanted. 🙂 I am hoping he will attract a mate and that they nest in neighborhood…but I am happy just to have had one in the yard. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 2000 @ f4 @ 1/500th. +.3 EV exposure compensation. The high ISO called for some extra processing in Polarr.