Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Spotted Towhee

Pipilo maculatus
Spotted Towhees are actually large members of the New World Sparrow family, and can be found in the western parts of North America. They have striking red sides, with dark wings and tails that are spotted with white. Males are darker in color than the females

Male Spotted Towhees are very dedicated when it comes to finding a mate. Those who have not yet attracted  females will spend 70-90% of their entire morning singing their little hearts out.  Once they find a mate, only about 5% of their morning time is devoted to song. Due to their scrubland environment, nests are built by the female on the ground using things like pine needles, bark, and grasses. Eggs incubate for only two weeks, and the young are out of the nest when they are only 12 days old!

Spotted Towhees not only nest on the ground, but they feed there as well. They have a very distinctive foraging technique that is referred to as "two-footed scratching." They kick both of their feet back simultaneously to scratch and forage for seeds, insects, and nuts. The sound is actually pretty loud, and the birds are often heard before they are seen.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : Western North America
Size : Body Length 8in (21cm), Wingspan 11in (28cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Passeriformes
Family : Emberizidae -- Genus : Pipilo -- Species : P. maculatus

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting an article the Spotted Towhee. we have featured this beautiful little bird on our blog as well. The spotted towhee has beautiful eyes, and a very unique voice.
    From the editor of the ........ beaconhillparkjournal@blogspot.com


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