Spotted Towhee's have a thick, pointed bill, short neck, chunky body, and long, rounded tail. Males have jet-black upperparts and throat while their wings and back are spotted bright white. The flanks are rufous red with a white belly. Females have the same pattern but are warm brown where males are black.
Look for Spotted Towhees in open, shrubby habitat with thick undergrowth. Spotted Towhees are also at home in backyards, forest edges, and overgrown fields.
Their warm rufous flanks match the dry leaves they spend their time hopping around in. The birds can be hard to see in the leaf litter, so your best chance for an unobstructed look at this bird may be in the spring, when males climb into the shrub tops to sing their buzzy songs.
Spotted Towhees eat mainly insects including ground beetles, weevils, ladybugs, darkling beetles, click beetles, wood-boring beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, caterpillars, moths, bees, and wasps. They also eat acorns, berries, and seeds including buckwheat, thistle, raspberry, blackberry, poison oak, sumac, nightshade, chickweed, and crops such as oats, wheat, corn, and cherries. In fall and winter, these plant foods make up the majority of their diet. Having a seed cylinder with mealworms and berries is a good way to attract these birds to your yard.
Interesting fact: Male towhees have been recorded spending 70 percent to 90 percent of their mornings singing attempting to attract a mate.