Spotted Towhee

The form that breeds on Socorro Island is much smaller than other rufous-sided towhees, and has grey upperparts. It is sometimes split as the Socorro Towhee, Pipilo socorroensis

The Spotted Towhee is classified as Least Concern. Does not qualify for a more at risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category.

The spotted towhee and its cousin, the eastern towhee, were originally considered the same species of bird More

The Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus) is a large New World sparrow. The taxonomy of the towhees has been debated in recent decades, and formerly this bird and the Eastern Towhee were considered a single species, the Rufous-sided Towhee. An archaic name for the Spotted Towhee is the Oregon Towhee (Pipilo maculatus oregonus). The form that breeds on Socorro Island is much smaller than other rufous-sided towhees, and has grey upperparts. More

* Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus which contains the * Olive-backed Towhee, Pipilo maculatus macronyx, * Socorro Towhee, Pipilo socorroensis, * "Brown Towhee" - old name, now split into two species: * California Towhee, Pipilo crissalis and * Canyon Towhee, Pipilo fuscus, * Abert's Towhee, Pipilo aberti, * White-throated More

• Watch a Spotted Towhee feeding on the ground; you'll probably observe its two-footed, backwards-scratching hop. This "double-scratching" is used by a number of towhee and sparrow species to unearth the seeds and small invertebrates they feed on. One Spotted Towhee with an unusable, injured foot was observed hopping and scratching with one foot. • The Spotted Towhee hybridizes with the Eastern Towhee where their ranges meet in the Great Plains. More

The Spotted Towhee is a large sparrow that prefers breeding habitats which include thickets and shrublands throughout western North America. This species has been known to interbreed with the Collared Towhee in areas of southwestern Mexico where the ranges of the two species overlap. During winter months, northwestern populations will migrate east to the central plains of the United States and northwestern and central Great Plains. Nests are built on the ground or in low bushes. More

Spotted Towhee at Chico Basin Bird Banding Station In spring and early summer, the male Towhee announces its territory by perching on the highest branch of a scrub oak tree or neighborhood shrub and sings the same song over and over. The Towhee was named for its repetitive song, a trilling “tow, tow, heeeee.” Spotted Towhees are actively singing now, so listen for their trilling songs every morning. More

Spotted Towhee; Photo courtesy of Jim Dunn More

In central Oklahoma, the Spotted Towhee is our common towhee. A very few Spotted Towhees nest in the Black Mesa area of the Oklahoma Panhandle; their song is a “harsh buzzy trill” (Kaufman Field Guide 2000). A few Eastern Towhees nest in northeastern Oklahoma; their song is “drink your teeeeee.” But both species are primarily migrants and winter residents in Oklahoma. On our Oklahoma City Christmas Bird Count there are usually about 50 Spotted Towhees reported for each Eastern Towhee. More

very similar, but differ in range, as the Spotted Towhee is mostly a western U.S. bird while the Eastern Towhee is an eastern U.S. bird. The Eastern Towhee also lacks the Spotted Towhee's white spots on its back and wings. The two species may interbreed where their ranges overlap. Habitat: Prefers brush and thickets, usually as the understory to a forest/woodland. Diet: Insects, fruits and berries, seeds, nuts, occasionally small reptiles, amphibians, and snakes. More

Spotted towhees are common but reclusive birds throughout the western United States in brushy forests and canyons. They can be found year round along the Pacific coast and the western mountains, while summer populations extend to Montana, Colorado, western Nebraska and the western half of the Dakotas, as well as southern central Canada. Winter populations can be found in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and northern Mexico. More

The Spotted Towhee is a large, striking sparrow of sun-baked thickets of the West. When you catch sight of one, they’re gleaming black above (females are grayish), spotted and striped with brilliant white. Their warm rufous flanks match the dry leaves they spend their time hopping around in. More

Spotted Towhee will repeat his call constantly, so once you’ve identified the location of his call, just stand and watch the bushes where it comes from for a few minutes and you’re bound to see this bird reveal himself. We see this Sonoma County resident year-round, and have observed him at Jack London State Park, on the trails of Annadel State Park, as well as in the neighborhood. More

The western Spotted Towhee has white spots on its primary and secondary feathers. The Eastern Towhee is the same bird in terms of its size and structure but does not have white spots. Behavior - Male Northwestern birds migrate eastwards to the central plains of the United States, mostly the northwestern-central Great Plains. In other areas, some birds may move to lower elevations in winter. More

A male Spotted Towhee in the Native Fragment who was calling from the underbrush, then was kind enough to hop up onto a branch and pose for me. May 2005. Photo by Jason Finley. A Spotted Towhee at the Stone Canyon Creek behind the Anderson School. He hopped boldly out of the bushes to kick around some ground right in front of me! 10/11/05. Photo by Jason Finley. More

North American RangeThe Spotted Towhee is a distinctive bird that is often heard before it is seen, scraping about in the brush. The deep chestnut flanks and sides combined with the male's solid black head, red eye, and black upperparts are distinctive. The belly is white, and the white spots on the wings give this bird its name. The white at the corners of the long tail is visible in flight. Females appear similar to males, but are dark brown while males are black. More

Spotted Towhee Apron (dark)Spotted Towhee Apron (dark) £17.00 Spotted Towhee Calendar PrintSpotted Towhee Calendar Print £5.00 Spotted Towhee Greeting CardSpotted Towhee Greeting Card £3.50 Spotted Towhee Greeting Cards (Pk of 10)Spotted Towhee Greeting Cards (Pk of 10) £13.50 Spotted Towhee Greeting Cards (Pk of 20)Spotted Towhee Greeting Cards (Pk of 20) £22. More

In winter the Spotted Towhee seems to be somewhat hardier than the Eastern Towhee, as it withstands lower temperatures. Still, some towhees in the Southwest move to lower altitudes when temperatures drop, and towhees in the Northwest may move eastward into the Great Plains. The exact ecological requirements for various races of Spotted Towhee differ more than they do for Eastern Towhee races, but, in general, about 30 percent of the Spotted Towhee More

Picture of Pipilo maculatus above has been licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike.
Original source: Walter Siegmund
Author: Walter Siegmund
Permission: Some rights reserved
Order : Passeriformes
Family : Emberizidae
Genus : Pipilo
Species : maculatus
Authority : Swainson, 1827