Unlike the bolder California Towhee, this brightly colored towhee hides under dense brush. It has a signature call that lets you know it’s there: two sharp notes followed by a trill. The bills of Spotted Towhees have been observed to get shorter in winter; the theory is that grit and hard seeds wear down the bill more than the softer insects eaten during warmer months.
The bill of this towhee is measurably shorter in winter than in summer.
What’s for Lunch:
Insects in summer; seeds in winter
Chaparral and coastal sage scrub, year-round