Spotted Towhee

Pipilo maculatus

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Emberizids (Emberizidae)

Code 4

SPTO

Code 6

PIPMAC

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

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. Diets consist of insects, acorns, seeds and berries found by foraging on the ground. The conservation status of this species is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Spotted Towhee: Large sparrow, white-spotted black back, black rump. Black breast, white belly, rufous sides. Head is black and eyes are red. Wings are black with white spots. Tail is long and black with white corners. Short, bounding flights, alternates rapid wing beats with wings pulled to sides.


Range and Habitat

Spotted Towhee: Breeds from British Columbia south to California and the southwest, and east to central Dakotas and western Texas. Spends winters from British Columbia, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, and Nebraska south to Baja California and east to Oklahoma and south-central Texas. Preferred habitats include forest edges, thickets, gardens, and shrubby park areas.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"cheweeeeee", "meewwww"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • They occasionally sun themselves, lying down on the grass with feathers spread.
  • They often bathe in dew or fog drip on vegetation.
  • When disturbed, a nesting female Spotted Towhee may run away like a mouse rather than fly.
  • A group of towhees are collectively known as a "tangle" and a "teapot" of towhees.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Spotted Towhee

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Michael Oberhofer

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
RumpX
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X