By SHERI WORM
Winter bird haven attracts rare off-season visitor
BEAR LAKE – Charles and Marge Keil, of Bear Lake, have an unusual winter visitor in their yard this year.
When Marge noticed a bird she had never seen before, she pulled out her “Audubon Bird Guide” and discovered it was a male Eastern Rufous-sided Towhee.
It's no surprise this bird would choose to dine at the Keils. It is one of more than 20 varieties of birds that eat there, including a magnificent Pileated Woodpecker.
What makes it unusual is that the Eastern Towhee rarely winters in Michigan, according to Dr. Brian Allen, president of the Manistee County Audubon Society. The only other sighting this year was in Holland.