The western and eastern varieties of this bird were once collectively known as the "Rufous-sided Towhee", but differences in their song and appearence resulted in separation. This bird, with its distinctive colors and loud buzzy call, are nothing like its counterpart, the California Towhee. These Towhee's can be seen scratching on the ground for food, which can be insects, seeds, or berries.
General: 7.25 to 8 inches in length.
Male: Black head, back, wings, and tail. Distinctive red eye. Short, black, conical bill. White wingbars and spots on back. White belly. Rusty colored sides and undertail coverts. Tail has white edges.
Female: Similiar to male, except it has a rusty colored head, breast, and underparts. Also has a lighter colored tail.
Chaparral, meadow thickets.
3-6 white eggs with reddish-brown and lilac spots. They have a 12-13 day incubation period. Fledging occurs 10-12 days after hatching. The female builds the nest, which is an open cup on or near the ground. The female is also the egg incubator.
- Lake Murray, La Mesa
- Mission Trails Regional Park, San Diego
- "The Drip", Cabrillo National Monument, Point Loma
Listen To This Bird ( mp3 )