Subject: [Tweeters] Unspotted Towhee, Kittitas County
Date: Sat Nov 30 16:14:43 PST 2019
From: Walter Szeliga - walter.szeliga at

Hi Tweeters,
For the past few weeks there has been an unspotted female Towhee in the hedge along the north side of the pond at Helen McCabe State Park just south of Ellensburg. It's fairly skulky (it is a towhee after all), that combined with the low temperatures means that I don't seem to get good photos of it before my camera battery dies. Here's a link to the photos I have gotten of the bird. <>

Given that the coloration of the upper parts is not nearly as brown as one would expect for Eastern Towhee, I'd suspect this is an aberrant Spotted Towhee, possibly an aberrant ssp. oregonus (rather than the expected ssp. maculatus). Eastern Towhee has a very different call as well; and while I haven't seen this individual calling, I also haven't heard anything like Eastern Towhee at this location. Has anyone see a Spotted Towhee with so few spots?

Walter Szeliga
Ellensburg, WA

P.S. If you do go looking for this individual, there are a number of average looking Spotted Towhees that it hangs out with as well. Just be patient and it will materialize out of the hedge.
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