Spotted Towhee

COMMON NAME: Spotted Towhee
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Pipilo maculatus
FAMILY: Emberizidae

Click on any photo to enlarge. All were taken 31 Dec 2012.

I just spotted this one today through my home office window, the first time I’ve snapped a photo of a Towhee since last February. They migrate to this area in the winter.

The Spotted Towhee has red eyes, rusty flanks and a white belly. You can see the white under the tail feathers. The male (shown here) has a black head, upper body and wings. If it were female, those parts would be brown rather than black.

He has a short chunky beak and pale pink legs and feet. He’s sitting in a young Redbud tree.

Now he’s showing us a rear view. You can see the white spots on the wing feathers for which his name is derived.

Here he’s scoping out the leaf-littered ground below to find the best spot for scratching and hunting for food. They mainly eat insects, eggs, acorns and berries.

In this photo some of the wing feathers are splayed, showing a little more of the white-spotted design. You can also see a white bar on the edge of the tail. A moment after this photo was taken, he was on the ground scratching around.

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