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Rufous-sided Towhee

towhee-2

photo - Paul Buescher


Size & Shape
7 3/4". Large, striking sparrow.
Color
Dark hood, upper body contrast with rufous sides, white belly., bold white spots on back, white outer corners on black tail. Dark conical bill, red eye.
Behavior Forages mostly on ground for seeds, insects, fruits. Scratches ground vigorously with both feet while feeding.  Does not flock, although found with other sparrows. eats spilled grain on ground below bird feeders.
Habitat Open woods with dense, shrubby understory, thickets, overgrown fields.
Field Marks
Male: Black hood and white belly, red eye, rufous flanks and undertail, prominent white spots and streaks on wings and back.
Songs & Calls
Song variable, buzzy trill. Call, given often rising schree.
Listen
Fun Facts
The Rufous-sided Towhee is quite variable throughout its large range.
Latin Name
Pipilo maculatus

 from Harry Nehls, Tom Aversa and Hal Opperman: Birds of the Willamette Valley Region

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