Spotted Towhee (formerly Rufus-sided Towhee)

Piplio maculatus

Spotted Towhee (formerly Rufus-sided Towhee)
Photo Courtesy of Tom Grey

Commonly seen around the picnic areas in Idyllwild and in Long Valley near the creek.

Description:
Black hood, back and tail; rufous sides; white belly; red eyes. Medium-sized bird, 7-9 in (18-23 cm)
Voice:
Slurred cherwink, buzzy chweee or a nasal wheee; song “drink your tea,” with last note trilled. Song with a great deal of geographical variation.
Food:
Seed eater, foraging dense ground litter; scratches brush vigorously for seeds, hopping from side to side, tail up.
Nest:
A loose cup built in dense brush, close to the ground; made of grasses and bark; eggs 3-5, white with reddish-brown and lilac spots.
Habitat:
Woodlands, forest edges, cities; usually in underbrush or thickets; shrubby park areas.
Range:
Southern Canada to southern US
and northern Central America; widely distributed except for heavily forested areas of Alaska and British Columbia.
Migration:
From cold, northern tier to lowlands of southwestern states.
Comments: