Skagit Audubon

Watching birds, protecting habitat, connecting with nature

Spotted Towhee

The Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus) can be found year-round in Western Washington although it can sometimes be hard to spot because it blends in so well with its favorite habitats.  Brushy thickets, forest edges, and overgrown gardens and fields with dense leaf litter are home to this handsome member of the sparrow family.

When breeding season begins, males spend most of the morning singing from exposed perches to attract a mate.  When a pair bond has formed, the female builds the nest on the ground using stems, dry leaves, twigs, fine hairs, grasses, and similar materials.  She lays 2-6 eggs which are incubated for 12-13 days.  Nestlings fledge after 10-12 days, and a successful pair can raise 1-3 broods in a season.

Spotted Towhees employ the “double-scratching” (two-footed backwards) method to uncover a wide variety of seeds, fruits, nuts, berries, insects and arthropods while foraging on the ground.  They are easily attracted to bird feeders, both ground and low-hanging, and will also eat suet and peanut butter, especially during harsh weather.    Photo credit:  Spotted Towhee by Mary Sinker


Skagit Audubon

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Skagit Audubon Society holds monthly meetings on the second Tuesday of each month except for the months of July and August. We meet at 7:00 pm at Padilla Bay Interpretive Center (Google map), 10441 Bayview-Edison Rd. Mount Vernon. Meetings are open to all.

The board of directors meets at the same location at 7:00 pm on the first Tuesday of each month, except for the months of July and August.

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