I have seen this fine bird in the Cerbat Mountains of Arizona as well as in California at Point Reyes National Seashore. It favors habitats of chaparral and brushy mountain slopes.
The Spotted Towhee differs from the Eastern Tohwee found in my home state of Ohio in that it has heavy white spotting on its upperparts and harsher, more variable callnotes in its song.
Like its eastern relative, it has a dark hood, rufous sides and a white belly – in addition to a dark, conical bill and red eyes.
This large New World sparrow is roughly the same size as an American Robin. These birds forage on the ground or in low vegetation and have a habit of noisily rummaging through dry leaves while searching for food.
Spotted Towhees feed mainly on insects, spiders and other arthropods in Spring and Summer and then switch to seeds, grain and berries in the Autumn and Winter.
This is a handsome and conspicuous bird that I enjoy seeing on my trips out west.