Spotted Towhee

Pipilo maculatus





Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

White or gray flecked with purple and red brown

Number of Eggs:

2 - 6

Incubation Days:

12 - 14

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

On ground., In trees or shrub.

Nest Material:

Twigs, leaves, rootlets, grass, and bark.


Some migrate



Spotted Towhee: Large sparrow with white-spotted black back and black rump. Breast is black, belly is white, and sides are rufous. Head is black and eyes are red. Wings are black with white spots. Tail is long and black with white corners. Female is duller, with brown instead of black and fewer white spots.

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.

Breeding and Nesting

Spotted Towhee: Two to six white or gray eggs flecked with purple and red brown are laid in a loose cup nest built in a dense bush, usually close to or on the ground. Incubation ranges from 12 to 14 days and is carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Spotted Towhee: Eats insects, spiders, seeds, and fruits; also takes small lizards and snakes; forages by double-scratching in leaf litter on the ground, usually beneath dense thickets.

Readily Eats

Cracked Corn, Peanuts, Nut Meats, Commercial Mixed Bird Seed


Spotted Towhee: Song is a variable, buzzing "cheweeeee." Call is an inquisitive "meewww."

Similar Species

Spotted Towhee: Eastern Towhee lacks wing-bars and white spots on the back.

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.
The upper front part of a bird.
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