Spotted Towhee

(Pipilo maculatus)

Conservation Status
Spotted Towhee
Photo by Ramona Abrego
  IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNA - Not applicable

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

 

 
     
 

Size

 
 

7¾ to 8½ in length

10½ wingspan

 
     
 

Voice

 
   
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Riparian shrublands and shrubby fields

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Migration

 
 

 

 
     
 

Nesting

 
 

 

 
     
 

Food

 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Occurrence

 
 

Casual to rare migrant

 
         
 

Maps

 
 

The Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union All Seasons Species Occurrence Map

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Class Aves (birds)  
 

Order

Passeriformes (perching birds)  
 

Family

Passerellidae (New World sparrows)  
 

Genus

Pipilo (typical towhees)  
       
 

New World sparrows were traditionally combined with buntings into the family Emberizidae. Recent phylogenetic analysis (Barker et al. 2013) and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis (Klicka et al. 2014) found that the Old World buntings should be separated as a sister to New World sparrows. New World sparrows have been separated into a new family, Passerellidae.

 
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

Arctic Towhee (Pipilo maculatus arcticus)

Cape Colnett Towhee (Pipilo maculatus umbraticola)

Guadalupe Towhee (Pipilo maculatus consobrinus)

Large-billed Towhee (Pipilo maculatus magnirostris)

Nevada Towhee (Pipilo maculatus curtatus)

Olive-backed Towhee (Pipilo maculatus macronyx)

Sacramento Towhee (Pipilo maculatus falcinellus)

San Clemente Towhee (Pipilo maculatus clementae)

San Diego Towhee (Pipilo maculatus megalonyx)

San Francisco Towhee (Pipilo maculatus falcifer)

Socorro Towhee (Pipilo maculatus socorroensis)

Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus chiapensis)

Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus griseipygius)

Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus maculatus)

Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus oaxacae)

Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus orientalis)

Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus repetens)

Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus sympatricus)

Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus vulcanorum)

Spurred Towhee (Pipilo maculatus montanus)

Texas Towhee (Pipilo maculatus gaigei)

White-eyed Rufous-sided Towhee (Pipilo maculatus oregonus)

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       
Visitor Photos
   

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Ramona Abrego
       
  Spotted Towhee   Spotted Towhee
       
  Spotted Towhee   Spotted Towhee
       
       
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
   
       
       
       

 

Camera

 

     
Slideshows
   
  Spotted Towhee
Allen Chartier
 
  Spotted Towhee  
     
  Spotted Towhee
Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren
 
  Spotted Towhee  
     
  Spotted Towhee
JMC Nature Photos
 
  Spotted Towhee  

 

slideshow

       
Visitor Videos
   

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Other Videos
 
  Spotted Towhee (possible)
Joshua Mayer
 
  Spotted Towhee (possible)  
       
  Spotted Towhee
Mitch Chapman
 
   
 
About

Published on Dec 7, 2012

For years I've assumed, on hearing what sounded like a bird imitating Krusty the Clown, that it was a pigeon. Now I know better: sometimes the noise comes from a fiery little sparrow.

   
       
  Spotted Towhee - song & call - Wasatch Mountains Utah
Clive Bramham
 
   
 
About

Published on Apr 21, 2014

Song and call of Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus). All shots from Wasatch Mountain State Park, Utah. July 3-5.

Note differences in song..

   
       
  spotted towhee songs and calls
Martyn Stewart
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 25, 2012

Wherever you are in North America you will most likely hear bird sounds. Birds sing in the spring to attract a mate and claim territory. Just like you, their dialects are different in the places they live to others that migrate elsewhere. This spotted towhee was recorded and filmed in Washington State around the puget Sound. Notice how different the calls and songs are to where you live.

   
       
  Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus) Singing at Pacific Spirit Park in Vancouver BC 13Apr2010
graywulffe
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Apr 14, 2010

A Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus) sings from a narrow Indian plum (Oemleria cerasiformis) branch at Pacific Spirit Park in Vancouver, BC. Towhees are often found foraging in thick underbrush, commonly on the ground. They tend to dig through the soil, looking for subterranean invertebrates to eat. These birds are very adept at silently moving through dense tickets, and can quickly disappear under the cover when they are startled.

Videometrics:
Canon Rebel T1i (500D)
Canon EF 300mm 1:4 L IS USM
-1/3 EV, 720p, 30 fps
Hand-held, manual focus, program mode

   
       
  Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)
tomb0171
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Feb 18, 2010

Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)

* Family: Emberizidae,
* Genus: Pipilo,
* Species: maculatus,
* Type: Bird,
* Diet: Omnivore,
* Size: Length 8.5" Wing span: 10.5",
* Weight: 1.4 oz (40 grams)

* Behavior: Their Breeding habitat is chaparral, thickets or shrubby areas across western North America. This bird interbreeds with the Collared Towhee where their ranges overlap in southwestern Mexico.

* Video: "SoCal T"

** The Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus) is a large New World sparrow. The taxonomy of the towhees has been debated in recent decades, and formerly this bird and the Eastern Towhee were considered a single species, the Rufous-sided Towhee. An archaic name for the Spotted Towhee is the Oregon Towhee (Pipilo maculatus oregonus).

More info: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Spotted_Towhee/id
or http://www.aves101.com/species_pages/spotted_towhee.html

   
       

 

Camcorder

         
Visitor Sightings
   

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Ramona Abrego
10/13/2018

Location: Becker County

Spotted Towhee


Mary
Sternhagen

4/14/2018

Location: Rochester Minnesota in my backyard


     
     
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