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The spotted towhee. | by Alexandra Rudge. Peace & love!
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The spotted towhee.

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 gray upperparts. It is sometimes split as the Socorro towhee (Pipilo socorroensis).


Adults have rufous sides, a white belly and a long dark tail with white edges. The eyes are red. They have white spots on their back and white wing bars. Males have a dark head, upper body and tail; these parts are brown or gray in the female.


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.


They have a round, chunky body, fan shaped tail, short, thick beak, and dull pink legs.


Los Angeles. California.

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Taken on February 25, 2014