Enter technology in the form of a free app…Merlin ID. The purpose is to help answer the question “What’s that bird?” through visual sightings(2014, photos you take (2017), and now audio sounds (2021). Designed by the folks at the Cornell Institute of Ornithology, along with some help from Caltech, its accuracy continues to improve through observational data input from over 5000 users using artificial intelligence to refine the entries.
The Spotted Towhee is a year round resident in the area. It is a large brightly colored member of the sparrow family. Males have black upperparts and wings with white spots, rust-colored sides, and a white belly. Females look the same except that the black is replaced by gray or brown. Spotted Towhees are ground feeders and are known for hopping from one spot to another in the undercover. In fact, they are often first noticed by the sound of their scratching and rummaging in leaf litter.
For more information on this interesting bird, see its Featured Critter Guide.