HEY ! YOU LOOK’N AT ME???
This Spotted Tohee (Pipilo maculatus) took time enough from his gathering of water and seed to meet me in a stare down worthy of De Niro. He was gathering nourishment while I sat still as I could. His red eye made me blink first. He won, but I got a prize anyhow.
Stare em down when you have to on your journey††nada te turbe††jim
It is odd how quick we can become jaded to what we see. We were driving around Bosque Del Apache, NM, looking to find all those exciting birds of prey: falcons, hawks & eagles, the big birds: cranes, geese and such. We were on alert for finches and other colorful birds. So many times we would see a flicker of wing, just a flash of a feather. We would stop the car, slowly scan the bush, only to have me dismiss the bird with “never mind it’s just a sparrow!”
We had stopped at a lookout deck where we had seen a few Red-wing blackbirds the day before. I love the Red-wing, it’s cry echos from my childhood with memories of fishing with my dad. I was a bit disappointed that the Red-wing does not have Red wings in the winter. It’s red chevrons are a faded dull orange and even their off season song is not the same as they sung from my childhood. Some things you just can’t reclaim.
As I was heading back to the car, imagine my excitement at spotting this bold, orange, black and white fellow. He posed and showed off what a handsome bird he was. Then I get back to the hotel and I’m reviewing my images. I then turn to my bird guides trying to put a name to the guy. I am looking at Orioles, Larks, Warblers, I can’t find him. Then I identify my bird. He is a Spotted Tohee (Pipilo maculatus). I am thrilled at such an exciting discovery. Then in the first sentence of his description, it states that he is a sparrow and my words echo…….”oh it’s just a sparrow”.
I felt he was smartly telling me to eat crow…..be careful how quickly you judge things on your journey††nada te turbe†††jim