Large, striking, long-tailed sparrow of western North America, from Canada to Guatemala. Black above with white spots on wings and back, bright rufous sides, and white belly. Eye is staring red. In flight, note white corners on tail. Also note females are grayer than males. Most similar to Eastern Towhee. Spotted shows more extensive white wing markings than Eastern, but note Spotted never shows the single bold white patch seen on the folded wing of Eastern. Hybridizes with Eastern Towhee in central North America; hybrids usually show intermediate wing pattern. Some populations in Mexico have olive tones on the upperparts and also hybridize with Collared Towhee. Inhabits scrubby areas and forest edges with thickets. Forages primarily by hopping along ground, scraping away leaf litter. Males sing from atop shrubs and low trees. Visits feeders.
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