Here are a couple of photos of an obliging California Towhee from a couple of weeks ago. The dark background on the second photo is especially pleasing, I think.
California Towhee. Imperial Beach, California. November 30, 2016. Greg Gillson.
I'm trying to envision how to draw this lower photo with its brown bird against the stark black background with graphite pencil. It has good contrast so I'd have to push the black as deep as it will go. I want to try it, but don't have the confidence in my abilities right now. I think that with more practice on other drawings I will have the necessary technique and confidence to tackle this challenge in the future. Of course, there's no reason not to redraw this bird several times to get better and better. Hmm...., but not today.
Update: December 30, 2016. I decided to give it a try...