Spotted Towhee, a beautiful bird that I see often underneath our bird feeder

Spotted Towhees are large Sparrows found in the West. Previously called Rufous-sided Towhees, they can be seen hopping in leaves, looking for seeds or other food. They make a double scratching motion in their search for food, which includes insects. They are a striking bird, as Robert Scarola's photo will show.

Except when the male is singing in the spring to attract a mate, these birds are mostly quiet. Their hopping/scratching motion is what attracts my attention when they are under our bird feeder scoring seeds knocked out by the various Jays.

Thanks to Robert for allowing me to share his photo with you here. To hear the songs and calls of a Spotted Towhee, here's a link to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/spotted_towhee/sounds

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