A Spotted Towhee: The Red-Eye Special

Spotted Towhee

a Spotted Towhee pauses

The first time I spotted a Spotted Towhee, it was at least 10 feet up, perched high upon a tree in Van Dusen Gardens. In the midday summer afternoon, its striking red eyes caught my attention.

Compared to the Dark-Eyed Oregon Juncos, the Spotted Towhee dwarfs the bowl. I haven’t seen these ground foragers/dwellers taking food from the suet feeder–maybe they find said feeder too unwieldy for their relatively large size.

This is the closest that a Spotted Towhee has ventured to my camera, though, and for that, I am glad! These shots clearly show its red eyes, white breast bracketed on either side with splashes of reddish brown — and spots of white on the underside of its tail feathers as it flashes me in one particularly naughty pose.


6 thoughts on “A Spotted Towhee: The Red-Eye Special

  1. Wow! What a pretty little bird! So glad you got those shots. Our towhees are plain old brown, but they’re little sweetie pies. In moderation. (Oh no! That seems to be a theme of mine. Ha!) When NOT in moderation, they just beep alllllll day long. Incessantly. Without any interruption. Ever. No lovely song, no sweet Disney chirping. Nope. Beeps.


    • sounds like you might have the California/Abert’s/Brown Towhees 🙂 these Spotted Towhees of ours are definitely ‘in moderation’ … the Juncos, Chickadees, and Grey Bushtits are in more abundance 🙂 but I definitely hear birdsong from the trees all day (the ‘beeps’ vary) … I just can’t figure out who is doing the singing! 🙂

      crows are much less common here, otherwise I would hear cawing all the time! 🙂


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