Bird of the Month: Spotted Towhee
By Hugh Jennings
Scientific Name: Pipilo maculatus
Length 7 - 8.5 in
AOU Band code SPTO
The name for the western version of this bird has been changed to spotted towhee. The eastern version will remain the rufous-sided towhee.
The bird is 7 - 8 ½" long. It is a common resident of brush, woods, coastal forest, farms, and gardens. The male's black upperparts and black hood contrast with his chestnut sides and white underparts. White wing patches and white-cornered tail are conspicuous in flight. The western, spotted towhee is known by the white above, and two white wing bars. The "tow-wheee" call sounds almost like a cat. Towhees like various weed seeds, raspberries, and insects.