This is a classic winter bird that I see only about once a year because it usually lives in higher elevations than the South Valley. It dines on insects during the summer and seeds and berries at this time of year. It’s a shy bird that, like woodpeckers and nuthatches, tries to get the trunks of trees between it and you. It’s about seven inches long and is considered to be a large sparrow. Its nests are often targeted by brown-headed cowbirds, which lay their own eggs in them, thus parasitizing the towhees.