I had no idea what this bird was, but he was looking really cold. The sun was shining very brightly, but the temperature was only about forty degrees. He found this sheltered niche, fluffed up his feathers, and blinked a bit in the sun until he warmed up. He obligingly remained in this position long enough for me to grab my camera, but shooting through double-paned glass never produces the clear shots desired.
Recently I joined two Facebook pages about birds and have been learning a lot, as well as very much enjoying the wonderful photographs posted by the dedicated people who spend time waiting for these glorious creatures to look their best.
I posted a photo of my mystery bird to the Facebook groups and had an answer very soon. This gave me a name to look up to see other pictures of the Canyon Towhee. We have long had the Audubon hard-cover books, and now a plethora of bird apps for the iOS devices, so I was able to fire up the iPad and see pictures, and hear the song and call, of the Canyon Towhee.
I have especially enjoyed seeing the many pictures of egrets that are posted in the group. The ones in flight are particularly stunning as the sun produces interesting visuals. They are so graceful, and so many of the photographers have provided studio-quality pictures, quite worthy of hanging. The white egrets on a dark background are just breath taking.
We have a lot of animals and birds that frequent our yard and the hundreds of acres of open land behind our house, so I am lucky enough to have many opportunities to observe a fair amount of wildlife. In fact, yesterday a pair of coyotes went by just about this time of the morning, and just now a female trotted by. They may have been together again today, but when I looked up from my computer, I caught just the last glimpse of her trotting off to my right and out of sight. Yesterday they were going in the opposite direction, so I guess the party is over and they are coming back now! ;->