The California Towhee (or “Cal-toe” as birders call them) is a large sparrow and very common in SoCal. Male and female are identical. They spend most of their time on the ground, scratching with both feet at once, looking for the bugs, worms and other bits of food they prefer to eat. They’re brave, not easily scared off. They appear at first to be the quintessential “little brown bird” — but closer inspection reveals a rusty red patch under their longish tail (the rump) and an unusual pattern of feathers around the eye that can make them look a little tired.