But I’m a coffee drinker

It’s a loud morning around here.  As the temperatures have gone up the past couple of days- even the mornings are staying warmer- the number of birds singing is getting higher.  While that little Song Sparrow out-did that towhee the other day, today is the day the Eastern Towhee is making his comeback. For the past couple of hours, that bird has been telling the world to “drink your tea” (a good mnemonic for remembering the song of the towhee.  He does seem pretty insistent about the whole thing, too.

I haven’t been on a run yet, today, so I’m just sitting at home listening to this bird singing.  Towhees, like Song Sparrows, show neighborhood-like dialect formation.  Birds that are closer together in space share more song types with each other (and non-migratory ones have larger repertoires than migratory birds).  Now I’ve going to have to follow them up the road and listen to them all to see if I can hear their shared songs!

Ewert, D.N. and D.E. Kroodsma. 1994.  Song sharing and repertoires among migratory and resident Rufous-sided Towhees.  Condor 96:  190-196

An additional little point on this bird (about which I’ll include more, later):  Today’s Eastern Towhee and the Rufous-sided Towhee of old are just name changes that refer to the same species- well, more or less.  I promise to come back to this point.  Really!


About thomasbiology

I'm an Associate Professor of Biology at Queens University of Charlotte with a background in animal behavior with an emphasis in bird song. I've got two secret goals with this blog (well, since I'm sharing them, they're not so secret): 1. To encourage people to look at the natural world around them- not just as a hiking destination, but to notice all the little things moving around them all the time; and 2. To show some of the science that relates to these little things moving around. There's some really fascinating research out there that so few people get to see.
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