Still Seeing Spots
Spotted Towhees (Pipilo maculatus) are common year-around birds on South Fidalgo Island and throughout the Pacific Northwest. A previous post from early March revealed the discovery of Towhees here with more spots than we usually see. They seemed to be birds normally seen further east and south which wandered into our area. In a subsequent post, these variants were identified by Greg Gillson as P. m. 'curtatus' or Nevada Towhees. Their normal range is southeast British Columbia, eastern Washington, through Idaho, Nevada and into southeastern California. Our local 'oregonus' variants of the Northwest coast are much less spotted as exemplified by this female:
At the time, the question was whether these spottier birds were just winter visitors or migrants passing through. Since I am still catching photos of them at the BirdCam stations, it is beginning to appear that some may have settled here permanently. Perhaps this is the beginning of a local population of extra spotty hybrids. It will be something worth keeping an eye on and spot check, so to speak.