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Spotted Towhees are large and boldly patterned relatives of the typically small, brown, and easily confusable sparrow clan whose many members occur in various habitats throughout the United States. Male and females towhees are very similar in appearance, but as this image shows, the adults are markedly different looking than their offspring. Towhees are generally terrestrial except when males sing from conspicuous bush-top perches. They feed on many kinds of seeds and insects,
as they are available, finding them on the ground and in leaf litter by kicking back with both feet. Formerly classified as "rufous-sided" towhee, this species is distinguished from its eastern cousin by the spots on its back and its different song and call-notes. Spotted Towhees can be secretive in their usual brush-dominated habitat, but they can grow accustomed to urban environments if dense vegetation is situated nearby. The deep red eyes of adult towhees are a special field mark not shared by many other birds.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Claude G. Edwards

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