All Photos posted on this blog unless otherwise noted were taken by me with my Canon Rebel XTI using a 300 mm zoom lens

Monday, April 2, 2012

April 2012 Bird of the Month Spotted Towhee

About 15 years ago when I started keeping my life list the Spotted Towhee was the Rufous- sided Towhee and included the Eastern species which is now Eastern Towhee and the Western Species which the Spotted Towhee. The two forms still occur together in the Great Plains, where they sometimes interbreed.

My first sighting of the Spotted Towhee was in West Centerville on a dirt road where the Legacy Highway is now. They are quite common on the East Bench of the Wasatch Front in the Scrub Oak and I have seen them in riparian areas at Farmington Bay.
The Western Spotted Towhee has spotted and striped wings and back, the Eastern Towhee lacks these markings it's back is black. 
They often flash the white on their tails. Spotted Towhees are quite entertaining to watch as they scratch in the leaf litter foraging for food. 
During Spring males sit in the top of the Scrub Oak and sing their distinct Towhee song declaring their territory.

Spotted Towhees are frequent visitors to my back yard.
A handsome bird with a melodious call always a good find when birding the Spotted Towhee is my pick for Bird of the Month for April

A Towhee with some Oregon Dark-eyed Juncos