Towhee is my alarm clock


Every morning, right before dawn, a California Towhee starts his chirping. I am typically asleep on the big red couch in our back room, and regardless of my reluctance to awake before I need to, his call fills my heart with gladness.

According to the Cornell Ornithology website: “California Towhees hop or run on the ground but tend to stay close to the protection of low shrubs and trees. When not foraging they may perch on shrubs, rooftops, and backyard fences, to sit and chip for long periods.”

I am happy to say that this is consistent with my experience, as I listen to him chip from the neighbor’s rooftop. A mourning dove might alight on the roof and gaze on him with focused patience, while the occasional mockingbird will wait for a break in the monotony to introduce a new and complicated song, to the joy of early risers.

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